As the Orioles open their Grapefruit League schedule Saturday with a home game against the Minnesota Twins at Ed Smith Stadium, hitters will take varying approaches at the plate.
Some will take more pitches than usual to get a feel for live pitching.
But others — like Orioles outfielder Nate McLouth — will come out swinging. In four intrasquad plate appearances this week, McLouth reached base three times, including lacing an early-count double off lefty Zach Britton on Wednesday.
"It's weird, because sometimes in spring training your first step in the box the first couple of times it's like you've never been there before," McLouth said. "Your timing is off. You can't pick up the ball real fast. But I stepped in and I felt real good, and it's important to be to get some swings off early in spring training."
"For me, if I'm seeing the ball well and feeling good at the plate I'm swinging at it," McLouth added. "I like to treat them like game at-bats, like in-season at-bats as far as mentality. If there's a guy on second with nobody out, I'm going to move him in spring training just like I'm going to move them in the season. You have to work on those things, too. I'm happy how I've seen the ball so far. I know it's only four at-bats but just how my rhythm is at the plate so far."
McLouth, who joined the Orioles in August after signing a minor league deal in June, became one of the team's most dependable players down the stretch. He's enjoying his first spring training camp with the club.
"I just kind of jumped in last year in August, but I felt comfortable from the day I walked in," McLouth said. "It's good to be back with these guys."
Nate McLouth ready to let it rip as Grapefruit League games begin
Baltimore Sun | Feb 23