In selecting a high-upside power arm in Grayson Rodriguez at No. 11 and a college shortstop in Cadyn Grenier at No. 37, the Orioles filled some needs in their system and signaled what they could be looking for as they prepare to tear down a failed major league roster.
Shortstop J.J. Hardy appears close to returning to the Orioles lineup after missing six weeks with a broken bone in his left foot, but he's not feeling any pressure to rush back to stabilize the club's recently inconsistent infield defense.
As expected, the Orioles¿ one-year, $5.75 million deal Pedro Alvarez was made official Thursday morning, the team announced. To make 40-man roster space, the Orioles released right-hander Andrew Triggs, who could be re-signed.
First baseman Christian Walker entered the final weekend of the regular season with an International League-leading 13 home runs since the All-Star break, with three in six games before Friday. He homered twice Thursday in a 6-2 loss to Gwinnett, raising his average to .260 on the season with 18 home runs and 74 RBIs.
Oliver Drake obviously knew how well he had been doing at Triple-A, but he wasn't taking a September call-up for granted. So when he received the news from Norfolk manager Ron Johnson on Monday night, it still had special meaning for the Navy product.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said earlier this spring that infielder Everth Cabrera would likely see time in the outfield this spring, and Cabrera will make his first Grapefruit League start this afternoon, starting in center field and leading off against the Philadelphia Phillies at Bright House Field.
Class-A Frederick is where the Orioles can begin plucking the fruit of a strong 2013 draft for trade purposes, with some of the best-performing and more developmentally advanced players from that class getting their feet wet in the second half of the Carolina League.
A few days ago, I wrote about the goings on in Sarasota, how some players are already working out with Double-A Bowie manager Gary Kendall and there will be more to come once a minor league mini-camp opens at the Twin Lakes Complex in less than two weeks.