SARASOTA, Fla. – A year ago, Mychal Givens came to minicamp. He was one of many young pitchers there, but the only one who made it to the big leagues.
Now, Givens is expected to contribute to the Orioles this season, and instead of being a quiet young pitcher, many of this year’s attendees flocked around him, looking for advice.
“Just the learning curve, that’s the biggest difference from last year and this year, soaking up the information when I was here,” Givens said.
Pitching coach Dave Wallace got a chance to look at Givens, who attended but did not throw at the three-day minicamp that concluded at the Ed Smith Stadium complex on Wednesday.
The minicamp gives Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti a chance to know new players.
The important thing is building a relationship with them and we’ve been able to do that, but now that you see when they do step on a mound, you have a sense of their personality, what they’re all about and that kind of thing. That’s the whole purpose of this camp, to familiarize yourself with guys who you don’t know that well, and it’s evolved over the last couple of years where it’s been a really good thing,” Wallace said.
“The best example is Mychal Givens a year ago, just making a little bit of a transition and then he ended up pitching in the big leagues for us this year and I don’t know that anyone expected him to.”
So many new names, new faces that Wallace and Chiti must know. Joe Gunkel, Donnie Hart, David Hess, Christopher Lee, Tanner Scott—and others.
Which one of them will be this year’s Givens?
“The beauty of that is that you don’t know. There probably will be. There will be somebody out of these 15, 16 guys and we have our ideas who they might be, but I would bet that most of us would be surprised about who it might be. It always happens that way,” Wallace said.