Orioles invite 23 to spring training

14 invites have Major League experience

By Norfolk Tides | January 16, 2009 10:18 AM

The Orioles have announced that they have signed and invited 23 non-roster players to their major league spring training camp, including 14 with previous major league experience.

Pitchers invited to camp include: LHP ALBERTO CASTILLO, RHP SCOTT CHIASSON, RHP FREDY DEZA, RHP BRAD HENNESSEY, RHP RYAN KEEFER, RHP ANDY MITCHELL, RHP CHRIS TILLMAN and RHP ROSS WOLF. Catchers invited to Fort Lauderdale include: ADAM DONACHIE, ROBBY HAMMOCK, CHAD MOELLER, GUILLERMO QUIROZ, JOSE REYES, GUILLERMO RODRIGUEZ and MATT WIETERS. Infielders that have been invited include: CRAIG BRAZELL, JOLBERT CABRERA, BLAKE DAVIS, CHRIS GOMEZ, DONNIE MURPHY, BRANDON SNYDER and JUSTIN TURNER. The lone non-roster outfielder in camp is JUSTIN CHRISTIAN.

Of the pitchers invited, four have major league experience. Castillo posted a 3.81 ERA in 28 games for Baltimore in 2008, while Chiasson pitched in the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs in 2001-2002. Hennessey appeared in 148 games over the last five seasons for San Francisco and Wolf appeared in 14 games for the Florida Marlins in 2007. Deza and Keefer are both in their 10th season in the Orioles organization, while Mitchell is in his ninth season as an Oriole. Tillman enters his fourth year of professional baseball after being acquired from Seattle in the ERIK BEDARD trade in February 2008.

Of the seven catchers trying to make the Orioles' opening day roster, five have major league experience. Hammock has appeared in 109 games behind the plate for Arizona in the last five seasons, including catching RANDY JOHNSON's perfect game at Atlanta in May 2004, while Moeller has appeared in 435 games behind the plate for six teams over nine years, including the New York Yankees in 2008. Quiroz appeared in 56 games for the Orioles in 2008, while Reyes played in four games for the Chicago Cubs in 2006. Rodriguez caught 39 games for San Francisco in 2007. Donachie spent the last eight years in the Kansas City Royals organization and Wieters enters his second season in the Orioles organization after being named the 2008 Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America.

Four of the seven infielders in camp have major league experience, led by Gomez's 16 years in the big leagues. Brazell hit 27 home runs for the Seibu Lions in Japan in 2008 and has appeared in the major leagues with Kansas City and the New York Mets. Cabrera has appeared in 609 major league games, including 48 for Cincinnati in 2008, and spent two seasons (2005-2006) in Japan. Murphy has seen action in 127 major league contests, including 46 with Oakland in 2008. Davis enters his fourth season in the Orioles' system, while Snyder begins his fifth campaign. Turner joins the Orioles after being obtained from Cincinnati in the RAMON HERNANDEZ trade in December.

Christian joins the Orioles after five seasons in the Yankees organization, which included 24 games in New York in 2008.

Orioles pitchers and catchers will hold their first workout in Fort Lauderdale on February 15, and the first full squad workout will take place February 19. The Orioles will open the 2008 Grapefruit League schedule at home against the New York Mets on February 25 at 1:05 p.m.

Orioles minor league pitchers will hold their first workout in Sarasota on Wednesday, March 4. The first minor league full squad workout will take place on Sunday, March 8.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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