The Baltimore Orioles pitching minicamp starts tomorrow and men on the 40-man roster are not required to attend.
But it doesn’t mean that Baltimore Orioles pitchers with uncertain roles shouldn’t. But, there are a few who are choosing not to attend.
According to Jon Meoli with the Baltimore Sun, three familiar names are choosing not to make the trek to Sarasota.
In his latest article about minicamp, he wrote:
"“Just below the likes of Mike Wright, Alec Asher and Gabriel Ynoa — none of whom will be attending — are a group of pitchers who will be part of the starting depth conversation both now and in the future.”"
As someone who watches from the cheap seats, it seems as though the Orioles are looking for starting pitchers and that only two men have set roles in the rotation: Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman. The rest of the spots are unknown at this point. With young pitchers vying for spots, if I were Wright, Asher, and Ynoa, I would be sure to show up. Even if they don’t throw any pitches – just to make an appearance and check out the competition.
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With Richard Bleier taking time to show up in Sarasota, it seems negligent that Wright, Asher, and Ynoa are choosing to stay home.
The Orioles signed a bunch of minor league pitchers and Rule-5 pitchers in the off-season. They also have pitchers who have been working their way through the minors with the hopes of being called up. Tanner Scott, Miguel Castro, and Nestor Cortes will do everything they can in these three days to show that they should be considered for important roles.
The Orioles have had plenty of opportunities to sign free agent pitchers like Andrew Cashner and Lance Lynn. But, all that has come from the opportunities are rumors of meetings and conversations. Ken Rosenthal shared news about the Orioles and Cashner, but nothing has been officially shared by the team or Cashner’s camp.
A three-day minicamp may not seem like that big of a deal, but the Orioles have a lot to win and lose. If they can find a diamond in the rough at minicamp, they could work some magic with position players – possibly even with Manny Machado or with extension talks for Jonathan Schoop.
There is so much up in the air about this team that it truly seems counterproductive for any pitcher not named Dylan or Kevin to miss the minicamp. Ynoa wasn’t bad in 2017 in his four starts. Asher had a typical Orioles ERA in 2017 – 5.25 in six starts. And, Wright was also sub-par in his 25 innings and 5.76 ERA (that was his lowest ERA in three seasons).
Missing this camp seems like a big mistake. Unless they already know they don’t have a chance.