The Orioles enter the 2023 season with hopes of making the postseason. Major League Baseball announced Thursday when their efforts to do so will officially get underway.
Orioles pitchers and catchers will have their first workout at the team’s Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota, Florida, on Feb. 16, a day after reporting. The rest of the Orioles’ position players will report Feb. 20 and Baltimore’s first full-squad workout will be Feb. 21.
Report dates differ for players participating in the World Baseball Classic, a group that for Baltimore includes outfielders Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander, starting pitching Dean Kremer, reliever Dillon Tate and others. Pitchers and catchers representing their countries in the WBC have a report date to their team’s camp of Feb. 13, with other position players due by Feb. 16.
The Orioles open Grapefruit League play Feb. 25 at home against the Minnesota Twins. Their exhibition schedule closes March 27 with a home game against the St. Louis Cardinals. The 2023 regular season begins March 30 against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
Spring training will allow the Orioles to sort through their position battles and integrate the newest members of their club. This offseason, Baltimore signed starting pitcher Kyle Gibson, second baseman Adam Frazier and reliever Mychal Givens to one-year contracts and traded for catcher James McCann. Givens pitched for the Orioles from 2015 to 2020, but the others have no experience with the organization.
Gibson, the highest-paid member of Baltimore’s pitching staff, is perhaps the only lock for a rotation spot, though right-handers Kyle Bradish and Kremer positioned themselves well with strong finishes to 2022. Little stands in the way of Grayson Rodriguez, considered the top pitching prospect in the sport, breaking camp with Baltimore, but the club has several others who will contend with him for back-end rotation spots after spending time in the majors last year.
Some of them might wind up in a bullpen that was an unexpected strength of last year’s team. Givens will serve as a veteran late-inning option in front of closer Félix Bautista, with left-hander Cionel Pérez and right-handers Tate and Bryan Baker as setup men, as well. That likely leaves three openings for other relievers.
The presence of McCann alongside Adley Rutschman means the Orioles are likely set at catcher, but question marks remain in the infield and outfield. Frazier is set to rotate in the infield with incumbents Gunnar Henderson, Jorge Mateo and Ramón Urías, while Austin Hays, Mullins and Santander are set to return as the starters in the outfield. The composition of manager Brandon Hyde’s bench will be of intrigue, given that every roster spot will matter as the Orioles try to crack the playoff field for the first time in seven years.