In the NFL, they call them OTA’s. Now, they’re spreading to baseball. They’re not Organized Team Activities, which are a semi-big deal in the NFL.
Teams can gather for a set amount of days. Teams with new coaches can meet for more. The Atlanta Braves pitchers under Leo Mazzone, who later worked as Orioles pitching coach for two seasons, had a camp.
For the last two years the Orioles had one in Baltimore preceding FanFest. This year FanFest isn’t until Feb. 1, and spring training starts 12 days later so the team has decided to hold their camp in Sarasota beginning on Monday.
In 2012, the team signed Stu Pomeranz, who had a career marred by injuries and personal problems. Pomeranz made it to the majors in May, but then suffered a back injury, which hasn’t allowed him to pitch since.
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Last year, Mark Hendrickson, who had been out of baseball for a year, presented himself as a reinvented sidearmer, and he was given a spring training invitation. Hendrickson spent all season at Norfolk.
This year, the camp will help new pitching coach Dave Wallace and the bullpen coach, Dom Chiti, get to some of the younger members of the pitching staff, and perhaps there’ll be another unpublicized signee who makes the team.
NOTES: Six spring training games will be telecast on MASN:
-March 1 vs. Toronto
-March 7 vs. Philadelphia
-March 8 vs. Boston
-March 15 vs. Yankees
-March 17 vs. Twins
-March 24 vs. Boston
All games will be at 1 p.m. except for March 17, which will be at 7 p.m.
-Robert Andino, who played in the Pittsburgh organization late last season, has been re-signed by the Pirates to a minor league contract. Taylor Teagarden, who was Matt Wieters’ backup for most of the past two seasons, has signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets.