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Orioles catcher Matt Wieters will have his work cut out for him this spring, with a total of 31 pitchers -- many of whom he has never caught -- competing for sports in the bullpen and starting rotation.
Orioles catcher Matt Wieters will have his work cut out for him this spring, with a total of 31 pitchers -- many of whom he has never caught -- competing for sports in the bullpen and starting rotation. (Getty Images)

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters made a big impression during his first spring training a few years ago with his great work ethic and his commitment to learning everything he could about the pitchers in camp. That usually gets easier with each season, but this spring will be another big challenge with 31 pitchers in camp.

"(You're going to have to) soak in as much about these guys as you can as fast as possible,'' he said. "It's a little bit different than in years past because almost every single one of these guys has a chance to make the team; they are all fighting for a spot in that bullpen or rotation. And you're really going to have to learn a lot because it's probably going to come down to that last week or two to decide who's going to travel north with us."

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The pitchers and catchers are officially scheduled to report to camp today (Saturday), but some of them arrived in Sarasota early and a few -- Wieters and Jim Johnson to name a couple -- already live here. Zach Britton, who is rehabbing an inflamed shoulder, started his throwing progression on Thursday and had his second throwing session today.

"I get excited for spring,'' Wieters said. "I get excited every January when you start thinking about spring training. The good thing is weve had a lot of guys show up early this year, and we've gotten to see Jake (Arrieta), and Zach and Brian Matusz. It's good to get to see them and meet all the new guys who filtered in."

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