The Orioles today announced that they have signed and invited 14 non-roster players to their major league spring training camp, nine of whom have previous major league experience.
Pitchers invited to camp include: LHPs RYAN EDELL and DENNYS REYES and RHPs WILLIE EYRE, ARMANDO GALARRAGA, STEVE JOHNSON, JON LINK, PAT NESHEK, MIGUEL SOCOLOVICH and OSCAR VILLARREAL. Position players invited include: CAs JOHN HESTER, RONNY PAULINO and BRIAN WARD; OF SCOTT BEERER and INF STEVE TOLLESON.
Of the pitchers invited, six have major league experience, with four spending at least part of 2011 in the major leagues. Galarraga went 3-4 in eight starts with the Diamondbacks and also spent time with Triple-A Reno in 2011. He fell one out shy of a perfect game against Cleveland on June 2, 2010 with Detroit. Neshek pitched to a 4.01 ERA (24.2IP, 11ER) in 25 relief appearances for the Padres in addition to 24 games with Triple-A Tucson last season. He pitched to a 2.94 ERA in 74 appearances for the Twins in 2007, ranking 14th among AL relievers with 70.1 innings pitched. Eyre posted a 3.44 ERA (18.1IP, 7ER) in 19 games for the Orioles last season in addition to time with Triple-A Sacramento and Norfolk. Reyes, a veteran of parts of 15 seasons, appeared in four games for the Red Sox last year.
Edell won 10 games and posted a 3.38 ERA (149.0 IP, 56ER) in 29 games (22 starts) between Double and Triple-A in the Phillies' system in 2011. Johnson went 5-1 with a 2.16 ERA (58.1IP, 14ER) in 10 starts with Double-A Bowie and made 17 starts for Triple-A Norfolk last season. Link struck out 63 batters in 68.0 innings over 54 appearances at Triple-A Albuquerque. Socolovich appeared in 35 games between Double and Triple-A in the White Sox system, posting a 3.44 ERA (55.0IP, 21ER). Villarreal posted a 2.80 ERA (45.0IP, 14ER) in 43 games with Monterrey of the Mexican League and appeared in two games with Triple-A Albuquerque.
Paulino hit .268/.312/.351 in 78 games with the Mets in 2011. His best season came in 2006, when he hit .310/.360/.394 in 129 games for the Pirates. Hester batted .251/.324/.341 with five home runs in 82 games for Triple-A Norfolk after beginning the season with Triple-A Reno. Ward batted .254/.339/.382 in 104 games with Class-A Frederick last season.
Beerer batted .372/.401/.514 in 41 games with Triple-A Colorado Springs after beginning the season with a .290/.335/.463 line in 89 games with Double-A Tulsa. Tolleson batted a combined .275 with 38 extra-base hits in 123 games between Sacramento and Tucson at the Triple-A level.
Orioles pitchers and catchers will hold their first workout in Sarasota on February 19, and the first full squad workout will take place February 24. The Orioles will open the 2012 Grapefruit League schedule on March 5 with split squad games at 1:05 p.m. against the Rays in Port Charlotte and 7:05 p.m. at home against the Pirates.
O's minor league pitchers will hold their first workout in Sarasota on Sunday, March 4. The first minor league full squad workout will take place on Thursday, March 8. Minor league games begin Wednesday, March 14.