BALTIMORE, Md. — Camden Yards is looking a little different these days as the Orioles get ready to welcome players and staff back to the ballpark.
Several health screening locations are set up outside for when they arrive. Inside spacing out where players congregate is the key.
"There has been a lot of work, both in terms of planning and physically moving stuff in the clubhouses, to create more distance," said Orioles General Manager Mike Elias. "There will be fewer players in the clubhouses."
O's players begin to report to Camden Yards on Wednesday for summer training prior to the 2020 60-game season.
Different auxiliary rooms around the stadium will be used as clubhouses and locker rooms this summer to help guard against the potential spread of COVID-19.
"The goal is to create a more spacious atmosphere inside the clubhouse and it’s something that everyone is taking real seriously," said Elias.
Along with getting the major league roster ready at Oriole Park, a secondary satellite site will open for the rest of the 60-man 2020 player pool. Elias wouldn’t say when or where that camp will be held. It will most likely be in Bowie or Aberdeen. He did shed some light on who will attend.
"It’s going to be kind of a sliding scale between who you are and how close you are to the big leagues, but then also filling out depth for the major league team this year."
With no minor league seasons, for the rebuilding O’s, they want their top prospects like Adley Rustchman, Grayson Rodriguez and Yusniel Diaz getting work in under their watch.
"I do expect that we will have players here from the low minors that realistically otherwise wouldn’t have had a chance to come participate at the high minor league or major league level this year that will be here primarily for player development purposes," said Elias.
Making personnel decisions for the future based off this year? Good luck.
"It is very possible that somebody has a pretty misleading stat line over 60 games that they wouldn’t have had over 162," said Elias.
He added that the two areas that are most concerning from a player development standpoint this year are the lack of physical development for pitchers and the lack of at-bats for young hitters in the organization.