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Orioles notes: First full-squad gathering won't 'be a celebration' of the 2017 season

On the night before the Orioles’ first full-squad spring training workout, manager Buck Showalter typically holds a team meeting that marks the first time the entire club is together.

In some previous seasons — especially after playoff years — the team would gather to watch game highlights from the previous year, and Showalter would uses the team-building event as a reminder of what made past teams good and how the this year’s version can do it again.

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But when the team assembles for its annual spring meeting Sunday night, Showalter said he isn’t planning to glorify last season after the Orioles finished in last place in the American League East following three playoff berths over the previous five seasons.

Manny Machado won two Gold Gloves and a Platinum Glove at third base, but said shortstop "is where my heart has always been."

“This is not going to be a celebration of the 2017 season at this meeting Sunday night, trust me,” Showalter said. “I talked about it when I first got here, ‘Who are we and how are we going to do it? And let’s not confuse the fans.’ And I think there’s going to be some redefinition of expectations of how we do things.

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“Never assume anything and some of the players have to regain that trust in each other, [thinking,] ‘OK, well he’ll get it. I trust him,’ and sometimes it doesn’t happen. Now you’ve got to take it to another level, and if some people have some thin skin here, then they’re going to have a problem, because this won’t be a place for thin-skinned people. There’s nothing worse I can say than taking us a step back to where we were when we got here. Nobody wants that to happen. ”

Helping Davis bounce back

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has spoken this offseason about the adjustments he plans to make in 2018 to rebound from a disappointing 2017. When asked whether he spent significant time this offseason analyzing Davis’ struggles last year, Showalter indicated he did.

“It’s a big need without throwing it all on Chris’ plate,” Showalter said. “It’s because we all know what he’s capable of. … [Without] letting everybody in on some private conversations, he's certainly aware without stating the obvious. It’s more talking about this year and not last year. It’s kind of moving forward.

Jonathan Schoop reported to Orioles training camp Saturday and said he'll make up for his FanFest absence by signing a lot of autographs this year.

“I’ve said many times what it must be like to have that type of talent and power at your fingertips and not be able to get to it. But we’ve got some things. It’s not like we just didn’t try some things last year, but right now there’s a little bit different mentality with it. Chris has been receptive to it almost to a fault.”

Around the horn

Most of the 61 players in big league camp had reported by Saturday afternoon. The only three who hadn’t been accounted for by Showalter were infielders Rubén Tejada, Garabez Rosa and Éngelb Vielma, who was expected to be delayed by visa problems. … The Orioles’ intrasquad game will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, the day before the club’s Grapefruit League opener. It will be four innings long. The Orioles could ship in players from the minor league minicamp to cover some innings. ... Showalter bemoaned a spring training schedule that allows for just four full-squad workout days before the first Grapefruit League game.

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