Castillo working hard to prep for O's

Veteran catcher spent winter training with former backstop Molina, studying with Joseph

Castillo working hard to prep for O's

SARASOTA -- Orioles catcher Welington Castillo said he's not worried about getting acclimated to a new team this spring, despite leaving for the World Baseball Classic.

"I've been in touch and asking Caleb [Joseph] about them, each pitcher, because I don't know nobody here," said Castillo, who is on his fourth team since the beginning of 2015.

"It's not going to take me a long time because when I was traded to Arizona, it's going to be the same thing almost like [when] you get traded to another team when you don't know the pitching staff, you've got to get to know them pretty quick. I feel that I'm going to be good and that everybody in here knows what to do, too, so it's going to be easier for me."

Castillo, who will be the the starting catcher for the Dominican Republic, could miss 2 1/2 weeks depending on how far the team goes. He said Tuesday he has been working diligently this winter, even traveling to Puerto Rico for a week to work with Jose Molina.

"It was about the setting behind the plate, how you present your target and your body behind the plate to the pitcher," Castillo said of working with Molina. "Just play with the pitch he's going to throw and get to know the guy on the mound. It was more mentally than anything. He was one of the best behind the plate receiving, so why not work with him and learn from him?"

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Signed to a one-year, $6 million deal with a player option for next season, Castillo will replace longtime backstop Matt Wieters. While he will have quite a lot to learn this spring, the opportunity to play for his country was one he didn't want to pass up.

"We are blessed because the Dominican Republic has a lot of good players, but the WBC is every three or four years, so who is going to guarantee me that I'll still be in baseball in three or four more years?" he said. "Why not go there and get the experience? I have a lot of guys there who I practice with in the offseason, so you're going to be around them. And you're competing against other teams and other players too, so I think it's going to be a good experience and the competition is going to be good too."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for since 2010. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.