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Patton pending

Left-hander Troy Patton looks at all the young starters in camp and thinks that the bullpen might not be such a bad place. Patton says he hasn't been approached by anyone in the organization about changing roles, but it's interesting that he seems so open to the idea. "It's a crapshoot," he said. "There's so many good, young pitchers. It's pretty obvious that I'll be

How much does Miggi play?

With Miguel Tejada moving to a new position, manager Dave Trembley must decide whether to give him more starts this spring than what he'd normally schedule for a veteran player. "I'm not sure yet," Trembley said. "I know he's going to have to get game time at third, but I think you're going to have to balance it with being practical and realize that he's

More on B-Rob's BP session

Brian Roberts dialed up the intensity of his batting practice session against third base coach Juan Samuel. He took some light cuts against camp instructor Butch Davis earlier in the morning and didn't swing against reliever Dennis Sarfate. "It was good," Roberts said after taking some good-natured ribbing from Nick Markakis, who was dressing at the next locker. "I did get more comfortable. Certainly at

Starters and Scott

Kevin Millwood is expected to start on Opening Day, but he won't make his Grapefruit League debut until Saturday against the Detroit Tigers in Lakeland Jeremy Guthrie starts the first game on Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays in Sarasota. Brian Matusz starts on Thursday against the Rays in Port Charlotte. Luke Scott will play some first base in spring training. Today marked the first

Koji's BP session

Koji Uehara, speaking as usual through interpreter Jiwon Bang, seemed satisfied with the results today after throwing live batting practice. "I was able to command the ball better than last time," he said. Asked whether he feels better physically compared to last spring training, Uehara replied: "It's tough to tell. One thing I can tell you is that the way I'm approaching it from last

During today's workout...

Luke Scott is working out at first base today. He took ground balls and participated in double play and cutoff drills. Scott made a few high throws to second while trying to execute the 3-6-3, but he also dug a ball out of the dirt. He seemed a little lost once while trying to get in position during the cutoff drill - catcher Matt Wieters

Hernandez makes his pitch

Besides earning a spot on the 25-man roster, pitcher David Hernandez had two primary goals when he arrived in camp. He wanted to become more consistent with his delivery, and he wanted to begin trusting a sinking, two-seam fastball that he used sparingly late in the 2009 season. "It wasn't a pitch that I really could go to and say, 'Yeah, I can throw this

Updates on Roberts and Bergesesn

I watched the Terps-Virginia Tech game with Jeff Zrebiec last night at Sports Page Bar & Grille on Main St. It's a good spot. Quality food, lots of TVs and they pretty much get every channel. The Orioles had an EAP meeting this morning, so reporters were booted from the clubhouse 15 minutes earlier than usual. Players will take the field at 9:15 a.m. for

Matusz's session mattered, too

Other pitchers threw on the covered mounds today. Brad Bergesen wasn't the only one. It just seems that way, since a small media contingent braved a torrential downpour to watch him throw and immediately retreated to the trailer as soon as he finished. Brian Matusz threw with the first group, two spots ahead of Bergesen, and was a couple of notches above outstanding. At least

What everyone else is saying about Bergy

Brad Bergesen is scheduled to throw in the bullpen again on Monday and Wednesday before facing hitters in batting practice. He'll throw on flat ground every day, working in his breaking stuff starting tomorrow. Manager Dave Trembley chatted with reporters until catcher Matt Wieters went into his crouch and Bergesen was ready. He moved to the far side of the cage and never took his

Bergy on Bergy

Brad Bergesen was pleased with his first mound session and is confident that he'll be fine physically when he wakes up tomorrow morning. Bergesen threw about 30 pitches, most of them fastballs. He worked in a couple of changeups at the end. "I'm really relieved," he said. "I've been looking forward to getting back out there for a long time. Really, the last time I

Bergesen finishes up (with intrasquad info added)

Brad Bergesen just completed his bullpen session and headed back to the clubhouse, which will open to the media in about 30 minutes. Reporters were instructed to stand outside the indoor pitching and batting cages while Bergensen threw. I learned two things: Players are amused by our obsession with Bergesen, and my hooded sweatshirt holds about five gallons of water. The rain is coming down

Updating today's workout (& updating this entry)

The rain continues to fall and players won't take the field today, so the schedule has been turned upside down. We're told that batters will hit in the indoor cage and pitchers will throw on the indoor mound. It's also Photo Day here and the clubhouse is closed to the media this morning while players break out their cheesiest grins. I haven't been approached by

Bergy's big day (with weather update)

Unless he fell asleep on the couch last night and hurt his back, Brad Bergesen will throw from the mound today in a much-anticipated bullpen session. Bergesen says he'll probably be held to 25-30 pitches, and most likely will stay exclusively with his fastball. Maybe he'll be allowed to mix in a few changeups, but no breaking stuff. Update: I just returned from the gym

The facts of first base life with Mr. Garrett (w/ video added)

Biggest...reach...ever. We've been so preoccupied with every ground ball hit to Miguel Tejada at third base, we've practically overlooked Garrett Atkins at first. Atkins isn't a stranger to the position, but this is the first spring training where he's been anointed the starter on the right side. "I've just been taking ground balls and making some throws and getting used to my feet turning that

One is the loneliest number

We found out yesterday that Robert Andino is regarded as the backup second baseman two weeks into camp. So who's the leadoff hitter if Brian Roberts doesn't play? I asked manager Dave Trembley, who didn't really have an answer for me. "I don't know yet," Trembley said. "I guess I'll try to take care of that when we start playing games on the days that

More notes from today's workout

Manager Dave Trembley said he'll move around some players in Monday's intrasquad game. Robert Andino, for instance, is expected to shift over to second base. The regulars will play three innings and get an at-bat before substitutions are made. The game is open to the public for a small donation to the Sarasota Boys and Girls Club. It also will give us a chance to

Up and running again

Maybe that last virus scan worked. I'm actually writing this blog entry from my laptop, which apparently has forgiven me for all the nasty things I said about it. It's still a little weird between us. And we said it wouldn't get weird. Chris Tillman, Jim Johnson and Jake Arrieta are slated to pitch one inning in Monday's intrasquad game. Fourteen pitchers will be used

We can work it out

My laptop issues have gotten a lot worse. I'm ready to pull a sheet over its head. I'm emailing this entry to the MASN WebStudio via my BlackBerry. I can't get to your comments, so someone else will have to move them. Hold those questions. Chris Tillman threw live batting practice earlier today. "He's ready to go," pitching coach Rick Kranitz said. Tillman could pitch

Snyder's schedule

The Orioles have instructed Brandon Snyder to confine his work to first base this spring, rather than go back and forth between the two infield corners. Snyder was drafted as a catcher, but he also played 10 games at third base during his first professional season. He became a full-time third baseman after undergoing surgery on his left shoulder on Aug. 2006 - many people

Start me up

I've been dealing with laptop issues on and off since yesterday afternoon and the wireless wasn't working in the media trailer this morning. The blogging gods are conspiring against me. But we're back up and ready to roll. The clubhouse closed to the media 15 minutes early because the players have a nutrition meeting. Unlike previous years at Fort Lauderdale Stadium, the club didn't leave

Quick Bergesen Update

Orioles pitcher Brad Bergesen has been cleared to throw off a mound Saturday for the first time since injuring his shoulder during a commercial shoot two months ago. The Orioles had considered scheduling a third flat-ground session for Bergesen before clearing him for a bullpen session on Monday, but the right-hander has made significant progress and apparently is ahead of schedule. Bergesen has been saying

Radio Radio

The spring training radio scheduled has been released. Check it out. The following exhibition games will air on 105.7 The Fan, beginning with the March 3 opener against the Tampa Bay Rays: Wednesday, March 3 at 1:05 - Tampa Bay Rays Friday, March 5 at 7:05 - Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday, March 7 at 1:05 - Boston Red Sox Monday, March 8 at 1:05 - Minnesota

More notes from today's workout

The Orioles haven't set a firm date for second baseman Brian Roberts to take live batting practice. He's hoping to step into the cage next week. Roberts continues to hit off a tee and soft toss. Chris Tillman still is slated to throw live batting practice tomorrow. The cold air didn't do his back any favors today, but he keeps insisting that he's fine and

Bergy's schedule and the backup second baseman

Brad Bergesen will have another flat-ground session on Saturday and is slated to take the mound on Monday for his first bullpen session. Manager Dave Trembley indicated that Robert Andino would back up at second base if the Orioles needed an extended fill-in at the position. Andino also would back up at shortstop. Ty Wigginton is viewed as the backup at third base and first

Providing a little color

And I don't mean the redness on my wind-burned face. Koji Uehara threw live batting practice earlier today. All fastballs. He did some running afterward with his trainer. John Shelby is leading the bunting drills inside one of the netted batting cages. At one point, Shelby instructed Robert Andino to keep his balance and yelled encouragement. Andino figures to be one of the players who

Slow morning

Not having pre-workout clubhouse access has left my notebook looking pretty bare. Maybe that's a good thing, since I only have a few clean pages left. Brad Bergesen threw on flat ground, though Christopher Columbus would disagree about the "flat" part. His arm remains attached to his shoulder. And I'm getting pretty attached to Bergesen after checking on his health and throwing schedule every single

Canned quotes, and fresh ones from Erbe

The clubhouse is closed to the media again this morning because the players have a meeting - on media training. Cue the scene from Bull Durham. "I'm just happy to be here." "I want to help the team anyway I can." "I give 100 percent every time I'm out there." "I'll just take it one game at a time." (Bonus Quote): "I'll just take it

Not-so-sweet odds for Lou

I sort of tiptoed into an interview with outfielder Lou Montanez this morning, and not because he's unapproachable or my shoes didn't fit properly. I was trying to gauge whether Montanez viewed the roster the same way as everyone else. He's an outfielder on a team that includes Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, Nolan Reimold, Felix Pie and Luke Scott. He still has a minor league

Bergy and Guthrie

Brad Bergesen hopes to throw once more on flat ground before taking the mound on Saturday, but manager Dave Trembley might push back that first bullpen session until Monday. Trembley is toying with the idea of having Bergesen throw on flat ground tomorrow and Saturday. "He's wrestling with me on that one," Trembley said. "He really has done remarkably well. He's going to be fine.

Putting the "fun" in fundamentals

I mentioned earlier today that Nick Markakis was bunting inside one of the netted batting cages set up between practice fields. His teammates are doing the exact same thing, because the drill has been implemented as one of the new stations in camp. "That's one of the rotations," manager Dave Trembley said. "There's five rotations out here, and either you get it first or you

Tillman's side session

Chris Tillman said he threw "everything" today except his back (OK, that's my line) and was "shocked" at how good he felt on the mound. "It took a lot to hold back. I wanted to go 100 percent, but at the same time I had to hold myself back," he said. "Everything felt good. Obviously, it felt like I hadn't played catch in three days,

Tillman throws

Chris Tillman just completed his bullpen session, which lasted about 12 minutes and included a brief interruption and consultation from pitching coach Rick Kranitz. Tillman was throwing free and easy, and his velocity looked good. He also mixed in his changeup. Afterward, he said that he didn't feel his back at all. The other pitchers who threw alongside Tillman on the extended mound moved to

Tejada's early start

Miguel Tejada already is taking ground balls at third base about 30 minutes before players are required to be outside. Juan Samuel is hitting him grounders, much sharper than yesterday's three-hoppers, and Tejada is making the throws to second. Yesterday, players stationed at third base just flipped the ball into foul territory. Chris Tillman is still scheduled to throw in the bullpen today. His back

Chemistry class

I've fielded so many questions about clubhouse chemistry and how it compares to recent springs, I contemplated putting together another "Because You Asked." Instead, I asked manager Dave Trembley for his opinion on the subject. "I think one of the key things we've always done here is try to make people feel comfortable," he said. "I think we have winning-type people and I think we

The situation in BP

Players taking their first round of batting practice are instructed to concentrate on situational hitting, a routine that began on the first day here. "I think that needs to be a point of emphasis because it will help us win more games. Then we let guys swing after that," manager Dave Trembley said. "Before they can get to the round where they swing, they have

Road hazards, and turning the corner

If you're driving down Tuttle Avenue and pass the back fields, you might want to watch for flying baseballs. Guys were taking turns launching them over the right field fence and onto the street during batting practice. Nick Markakis and Luke Scott didn't cause any pileups, but I kept bracing for the impact. Miguel Tejada hit one ball that slammed off the batter's eye beyond

Tejada looks back while also looking ahead

Miguel Tejada stood at his locker earlier today and made references to mistakes from his past that he hopes have been put behind him. Though he never got specific, he alluded to his name appearing in the Mitchell Report, an age discrepancy, and how he received a year's probation after pleading guilty to lying to congressional investigators about the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.

Samuel talks about Tejada (with Tejada quotes added)

Orioles third base coach Juan Samuel might have paid Miguel Tejada the ultimate compliment earlier today. "He took all the ground balls," Samuel said, "and I told him, 'Hey man, you look like a third baseman already.'" That's probably more than you could expect on Tejada's first day. "The ball's going to get to him a little bit quicker there than it is at shortstop,"

Quick updates

Brad Bergesen threw off flat ground again today without any problems. Chris Tillman participated in every drill and is scheduled to throw off a mound tomorrow. Brian Roberts did everything except take live batting practice. He's getting ready to hit in the cage. Everyone has reported to camp. No visa issues.

Miggi and Wiggy at third

The Orioles have started infield drills, and Miguel Tejada and Ty Wigginton are taking turns at the hot corner. Infield coach Juan Samuel is hitting fungos as the two players alternate, and they're both handling each ball cleanly. Brian Roberts played catch with Tejada before players split up into different groups. Roberts is taking grounders at second. Chris Tillman participated in the pre-workout stretch and

Before taking the field

Miguel Tejada is in camp. Let the celebration begin. Tejada wasn't required to report at a specific time yesterday. Some players will drop off their belongings at night or simply call a team official and say, "I'm here." It wasn't a big deal, though I suggested that he would have made a better impression by arriving a few days early as one of the veteran

The first full-squad workout

Players won't take the field today until noon because of physicals and team meetings, which means I don't have to set the alarm and crawl out of bed at the usual hour. So why am I awake? It never fails. When I don't have to get up early, I can't fall back asleep. It must be the anticipation of watching more pitchers fielding practice. Actually,

Roberts: "I think this is the closest we've been"

And he doesn't mean a crowded trainers room. That was the old stadium. Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts is referring to the team's upgraded roster and the expectations for a much-improved season. "I think we're all excited," he said earlier today. "I think this is the closest we've been, probably since I've been here. When you just look talent-wise, I think this is the most

Roberts talks about his back

Second baseman Brian Roberts said he was diagnosed with a small herniated disk in his back about a month ago, but it won't threaten his availability or severely alter his preparation for Opening Day. "I'm on the right track now," he said. "It's going to be a little slow in the beginning, but it shouldn't set me back for April 6." Roberts never had kidney

An afternoon notes snack

Brian Roberts is taking his physical. Reporters hung around his locker for about an hour before taking the hint and returning to the media trailer. Nick Markakis was tearing the cover off the ball in batting practice. One frozen rope after another. Felix Pie also put on an impressive display. He launched one ball onto a stairwell beyond the right field fence, and a gusting

A few post-workout notes

Chris Tillman said his back tightened up again during the night, but it felt better as the day progressed. "I probably could have gone through the whole workout, but that would have been dumb on my part," he said. "I've still got a lot of time to get in shape, and I came into camp with my arm in good shape." Tillman hopes to complete

Tillman update

Chris Tillman won't throw in the bullpen today, as he continues to deal with the back spasms that forced him off the field yesterday. Tillman stood and watched as the Orioles played catch after stretching. He's walking to each station, but he hasn't picked up a ball.

Early observations (with Luke Scott quotes)

Cesar Izturis, Ty Wigginton and Michael Aubrey have rolled into camp. Luke Scott shaved his beard. He said the clippers jammed up a few times and his face felt "cold." Scott hasn't been told where he'll play this spring, so he's prepared to shag flys and take ground balls at first. As the Orioles made their roster moves over the winter, Scott had to wonder

Don't forget to read your Wieters

Matt Wieters caught Alfredo Simon's bullpen session yesterday. And like the rest of us, he's amazed that the right-hander is less than a year removed from ligament-reconstructive surgery. "I was really impressed with the life he had on his fastball, especially coming off Tommy John," Wieters said. "His fastball was very lively. It was a lot more lively than I was expecting it to be

Berken up the wrong tree

Jason Berken was pleased with his bullpen session today, his second since reporting to camp. Berken threw 35 pitches, most of them fastballs. But he also mixed in his changeup and breaking ball. Earlier this winter, I speculated that Berken or David Hernandez could move to the bullpen as part of the 12-man pitching staff. I'm not as confident in that arrangement now that the

Steady diet of Atkins quotes

As new first baseman Garrett Atkins finished a brief session with reporters in front of his locker, he spotted hitting coach Terry Crowley walking across the clubhouse. "Hey Crow," he yelled, his voice raised for the first time. Atkins wanted to know when they could meet in the indoor batting cage. Crowley, never one to put off such a request, replied, "How about right now?"

Worth noting

Brian Roberts is in town, though I haven't seen him. His agent, Mark Pieper, visited camp today. Scott Moore will take ground balls at third base and first base in the early days of camp. Manager Dave Trembley said he'll decide later whether Moore shifts to other positions. Robert Andino and Justin Turner will play third, second and shortstop. Andino also will take fly balls

Health updates

Pitcher Chris Tillman expects to throw his next bullpen session tomorrow and said he came off the field this morning "as a precaution" after experiencing some back spasms. "I could have participated 100 percent today," he said. Tillman said he fell asleep on a couch yesterday, which might have caused the tightness in his back. He's experienced spasms in the past. Tillman didn't fall behind

Early notes

Garrett Atkins and Luke Scott have reported to camp. Chris Tillman was removed from the field after experiencing back spasms, but it wasn't his day to throw. He's expected to be fine. Tillman's back tightened up after yesterday's session. Koji Uehara bounced some throws in front of catcher Craig Tatum during his session, but Tatum blocked each one cleanly. You can focus on the positive

Moeller and more

Continuing yesterday's blog entry about Chad Moeller talking at length to pitcher Chris Tillman after the right-hander's bullpen session, the veteran catcher told me the following: "There was nothing specific. It's always a matter of what I'm seeing, and also encouragement for him or to point out something that I may have seen that I didn't like. And in his case, there's nothing I saw

Reimold's in camp

Outfielders Nolan Reimold and Matt Angle have reported to camp. Reimold has run on a treadmill, but not outdoors, while recovering from Achilles surgery. "It feels good right now. When I walk around, I don't feel anything. We'll see how it feels when I'm running around for 10 hours a day," he said. "After a lot of running, it still gets a bit little sore,

Life of Brian (Matusz)

Brian Matusz had his second bullpen session today since reporting to Sarasota, and the left-hander made noticeable strides. And I'm not talking about his delivery. "I made some good improvements today with my two-seam fastball," he said. "Both times I threw to Caleb Joseph, and we have a good relationship because he caught me at Frederick, so he knows about me and I know about

Millwood and Markakis

Kevin Millwood was the first Oriole on the field for the 9:15 a.m. pre-workout stretch, putting him at least 10 minutes ahead of everyone else. He's routinely the first player to arrive at each station. It hasn't gone unnoticed. "That's what a No. 1 guy does," manager Dave Trembley said. "Plus, he pitches his (butt) off every fifth day. He shows these guys what you're

Notes from today's workout

The Orioles still haven't scheduled a bullpen session for Brad Bergesen. They want him to complete two or three extended flat-ground sessions before advancing to the next stage. Bergesen suggested that an optimistic timetable would be late next week. Nick Markakis was launching balls over the outfield fence during batting practice. It was an impressive display. "We're going to have somebody to hit in front

Quick hits

Brandon Snyder has reported to camp. Nick Markakis is taking batting practice with Adam Jones and Felix Pie. I almost didn't recognize him without the thick beard and hair. Jones looks good in the cage. He's ripping line drives all over the field. Will Ohman was bringing some serious heat in his bullpen session. Mike Gonzalez was the opposite. He threw free and easy, but

Tillman's new pitch

I just left the Orioles' clubhouse, which is open to the media from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Players will head to the back fields in a few minutes for the pre-workout stretch. Chris Tillman has started to experiment with a cut fastball, though he isn't sure whether he'll carry it into the regular season. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz approached Tillman with the idea, and

More from Moore

Infielder Scott Moore said he began working out with former Orioles center fielder Brady Anderson in August after they met last spring and struck up a friendship. "I just happened to run into him," Moore told me earlier today. "I wore No. 9 the year I made the team out of spring training. Brady was a really good player here and I just talked to

Roberts, Jones and Millwood

The Orioles still expect Brian Roberts to be a full-go when he reports to camp. They haven't received any reports to the contrary. Manager Dave Trembley was asked whether Adam Jones might have gotten a little ahead of himself at one point last season (I know the guy's fast, but I didn't think he was that fast.) "I think he probably wanted to do a

More stuff from today's workout

Outfielder Jeff Salazar also has reported to camp early. Felix Pie crushed a ball during batting practice that slammed off the indoor batting cage beyond the right field fence. He also was ripping line drives all over the place. Adam Jones provided non-stop chatter during the session, which also included Blake Davis and Justin Turner. Manager Dave Trembley and minor league instructor Mike Bordick stood

Pitchers impress today

Position players who reported early didn't have to take the field for the pre-workout stretch until 11:05 a.m. Adam Jones approached manager Dave Trembley and sought permission to join the pitchers and catchers at 9:15 a.m. He also stayed back after the workout concluded and signed autographs for every fan that requested one. "I think he wants to assume a lot more leadership here by

Markakis is here

Nick Markakis has reported to camp - with his son, Taylor, riding on his shoulders. Markakis still has the thick beard. But not much longer. He's wearing a long-sleeve camouflage shirt, cut-off sweatpants, and crocs with black socks. He wasn't approached for a single autograph as he wandered between the practice fields. It's as if no one recognizes him. Koji Uehara just finished his bullpen

A few early notes

You can add Rhyne Hughes to the list of position players who reported early. And I know it's Hughes only because someone pointed him out to me. Can't say that I'd recognize him. Hughes, Adam Jones, Felix Pie, Robert Andino, Justin Turner, Blake Davis and Scott Moore are in camp ahead of schedule. Chorye Spoone has been throwing since mid-December and only stopped because of

More early arrivals

Robert Andino and Scott Moore checked into the team hotel last night and will report to camp today. It's an interesting pairing, since Moore could be competing for Andino's utility job. Moore underwent surgery on his right thumb after being shut down the second week of May. He appeared in 32 games with Triple-A Norfolk, batting .252 with seven homers and 21 RBIs. Moore has

Some leftovers from today

Kevin Millwood spent a large part of the morning talking to Brad Bergesen at his locker. Millwood's locker is situated between Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman. Let the veteran influence begin. Matusz and Tillman played catch after the pre-workout stretch. As if you were expecting anything different. Felix Pie said he's more comfortable around his teammates this spring compared to last year, when he arrived

Talking Trembley

On the first workout at the new complex: "It was fun to be out here today, a lot of fun. Everybody was anxious to get out. We had a very good, productive today." On Alfredo Simon not being under any restrictions: "He was a guy that when I came here at the beginning of the week I asked (head athletic trainer) Richie Bancells about, and

Koji confirmed

The first day of workouts went smoothly. No visa issues, no injuries. Brad Bergesen is the only pitcher who's restricted. Alfredo Simon is full-go, as I wrote earlier today, less than a year after having ligament-reconstructive surgery on his right elbow. Manager Dave Trembley confirmed what we already suspected: Koji Uehara will work in a relief role this season. "I talked to Koji today before

The Ohman

Will Ohman snuck up behind Felix Pie this morning and gave him a big hug. He moved around the clubhouse, spotting familiar faces and getting reacquainted. Ohman is excited to be here and he didn't try to hide it. "It's kind of like a homecoming for me in a way," he said. "I know a lot of the guys here and a lot of the

Simon says...

After undergoing Tommy John surgery during the first week of May, right-hander Alfredo Simon has thrown off a mound twice and doesn't expect to be under any restrictions. Simon believes that he's ready to compete for a spot on the 12-man pitching staff - that's the number we're figuring until we're told otherwise - but the odds are stacked against him.

Pie and Jones report

Felix Pie and Adam Jones have reported to camp, joining the pitchers and catchers who are required to be here. Pie missed the last nine games after straining his left quadriceps muscle, and the healing process has been painfully slow. He's been in Sarasota for 1 1/2 months and finally is able to run sprints. "My leg is completely better," he said. "It took me

The morning scene

Players are lined up in the clubhouse to take their physicals before the first workout. Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman arrived together again today, and they walked out together to grab breakfast. They stretched on the field together yesterday. You could say they're inseparable. Reliever Wilfrido Perez said his left arm is fine after he underwent surgery over the summer to remove bone chips from

Sending out another postcard

I've been known to rush into relationships, and I'm ready to pay Sarasota's bills and buy it a sports car. Let's just say the place is growing on me. And fast. It's funny what happens once you venture a few miles from your hotel. If you're heading down here to catch a few spring training games and avoid the next blizzard, you'll want to visit

Wrapping it up

Day One didn't bring any major surprises in camp beyond the drastic differences between the Sarasota and Fort Lauderdale facilities. No more bumping into players inside a crowded clubhouse. No more tents posing as weight rooms. No more contact highs from the gas fumes at the executive airport. It will take some time before I stop shouting my questions to manager Dave Trembley. It wasn't

General info on Patton

Catcher Caleb Joseph still can't believe that he's in major league camp. He's waiting for someone to pinch him - though that might not be a good idea in the shower area. "All of these names," he said, gazing at the rows of lockers. "It's like Christmas in February." Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman reported to camp earlier today and ducked inside the weight room,

Arrieta and Mickolio

Jake Arrieta showed up today with a neatly trimmed beard that will be gone tomorrow. Arrieta has thrown about 12 bullpen sessions since Jan. 4. He'll try to squeeze into the rotation, perhaps bumping Chris Tillman from the fifth spot. Assuming Brad Bergesen avoids the disabled list, that would be Arrieta's best shot. "Whether there's an opening or not, I have to do everything I

Koji update

Koji Uehara threw off a mound for the first time yesterday at the club's minor league complex, which is located about 15 minutes from Ed Smith Stadium. "I'm feeling good," Uehara said through his interpreter, Jiwon Bang. When I asked about Uehara's hamstring, he replied, "So far, so good." A smile creased his face. He knows it won't be the last time we're checking on

First sign of spring

It wasn't much of a challenge to find Ed Smith Stadium today. Just hang a left at the huge sign, complete with the cartoon Oriole bird, which welcomes you to the team's new spring training home. I'm seeing a lot of orange and black around here. That Cincinnati red has been covered up nicely. Jim Johnson just threw off flat ground, with Chad Moeller providing

Postcard from the edge

I have seven weeks to fall in love with Sarasota. Right now, I want to take it out for a nice seafood dinner and never call it again. Let's just say my first impression of the city hasn't been a good one. There's not a lot to see and do on Fruitville Rd., at least the stretch that I've traveled since leaving the airport. I

Because You Asked - The Final Insult

Spring training starts, but the questions won't end. You know them, you need them, you want them, you can't live without them. And you'll keep reheating them and pretending they're fresh. Sort of like the side dishes in the press dining room. No matter how many times I shovel the snow off my sidewalk, the questions are piled much higher. And while no two snowflakes

The keys to Koji

Any reference to the Orioles' bullpen has to include Koji Uehara. And any reference to Koji Uehara has to include a mention of his health. Uehara missed two weeks in spring training with a strained hamstring and went on the disabled list with the same injury in late May. He returned to the disabled list on June 24 with a sore right elbow, later diagnosed

Running the option

One of the more commonly asked questions in spring training involves players who are out of minor league options. You wants names. I want to pass them along to you. It's the perfect storm. It also won't require that you put on a heavy coat and grab a shovel. You can check out this list from mlbtraderumors that contains players who are out of options

Getting ready to report

By this time tomorrow, I'll probably be standing in line to check my bag at the AirTran counter. Or I'll be sitting in the back of a cab on my way to the airport to stand in line to check my bag at the AirTran counter. Or I'll be trying to calm my nerves while standing in line to book another flight at the AirTran

Hurt so good - Part II

Calling into Friday night's Hot Stove Show on 105.7 The Fan, right fielder Nick Markakis said he doesn't care whether he bats second or third this season. He pointed out that it really doesn't matter after the first inning. Markakis will mostly hit third, as he did last season, but the Orioles aren't settled at the second and cleanup spots. He'll move around on occasion.

Hurt so good

Calling into last night's Hot Stove Show on 105.7 The Fan, Orioles pitcher David Hernandez conceded that he needs to command his fastball down in the strike zone. He can't always live dangerously with the high heater. "You keep repeating the upper strike," he said, "and hitters start looking at that one area." The kid is learning. Hernandez notices that he's constantly mentioned in the

Guthrie on his agreement

Pitcher Jeremy Guthrie and his representatives were prepared for an arbitration hearing, and confident in their chances of winning it, but they elected to avoid the process and reached an agreement with the Orioles earlier today on a one-year deal. "It's exciting to come to an agreement that both sides agree is fair," Guthrie said during our phone conversation a few minutes ago. "We've been

Good news on Guthrie; info on Itzoe public viewing

The Orioles announced that they've reached agreement with Jeremy Guthrie on a one-year contract, thus avoiding an arbitration hearing next week and any potential hard feelings. Guthrie filed for $3.625 million and the Orioles countered with $2.3 million. They agreed to $3 million, the projected figure based on past settlements. Guthrie earned $650,000 last season while going 10-17 with a 5.04 ERA and a league-high

More on Bergy

I placed a call to pitcher Brad Bergesen shortly before 9 p.m. last night, which he returned about 20 minutes later. We had a nice chat, though I kept it brief. The poor kid will be dealing with the media on a daily basis beginning next week, so I try not to intrude much during the winter months. I wanted to check on his health,

Bergesen's injury

Orioles pitcher Brad Bergesen confirmed tonight that he injured his right shoulder in December and will be "a little behind" the other pitchers in spring training, though he fully expects to be ready for Opening Day. The injury occurred during a commercial shoot inside a batting cage at Camden Yards. Bergesen said he tweaked the shoulder as he was finishing up, and he contacted the

Gabino gamble pays off

Reliever Armando Gabino cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles designated Gabino for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster for left-hander Mark Hendrickson. That's not all. Gabino also received an invitation to spring training. That's not all. Gabino will wear No. 61. That's all.

Rumor East

With pitchers and catchers reporting in six days, perhaps it's time to post our favorite Orioles rumors from the off-season. It's my way of getting nostalgic for the hot stove season. You could choose anything related to Matt Holliday. There must have been a dozen of them. My personal favorite is how the Orioles were arranging a meeting in Texas with the free-agent outfielder, president

Sad news regarding Phil Itzoe (updated)

Longtime Orioles traveling secretary Phil Itzoe passed away earlier today after a long illness. He was 72. Itzoe spent 45 seasons with the Orioles, including 41 coordinating the team's travel plans, the longest tenure of any traveling secretary in any of the four major sports. During his final season in 2008, Itzoe received the Herb Armstrong Award and a spot in the Orioles' Hall of

My turn to vent

Looks like I'm back to babysitting a few fans who think it's cute or entertaining to post the same criticisms and complaints multiple times a day, hoping that I'll react and then becoming upset and confrontational when I do. You figure it out. I've given up. Make your same, tired point and find another topic. Repetition won't be tolerated around here when the sole purpose

Catching up with Devo

Did it really snow overnight? I'm afraid to look out the window. Actually, I've shoveled the sidewalk and dug out my car three times since the first flakes fell yesterday afternoon. Just trying to keep up with it. Apparently, more snow is in the forecast for Sunday and Monday. I have this strange feeling that I'll be reporting to the Sarasota complex after pitchers and

Washburn & Wang

Separate reports on FoxSports.com linking the Orioles to Jarrod Washburn and Chien-Ming Wang have got a few readers stirred up here, which is understandable to a degree. I didn't sense that a lot of fans were brushing the snow off their cars and racing out to purchase Ohman and Startup jerseys - though there's nothing wrong with updating your Wills. See what I did there?

Where there's another Will (w/Hendrickson news)

It's official: The Orioles have re-signed Mark Hendrickson and designated reliever Armando Gabino for assignment. Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail just confirmed that the club has signed pitcher Will Ohman to a minor league deal. Ohman receives an invitation to spring training, with the chance to win a spot in the bullpen as a situational lefty. That should put a little more heat

Start Me Up

Darren in GB and Tom McAllister beat me to it. Will Startup's intro music has to be "Start Me Up" by The Rolling Stones. No arguments. As a reminder to the terminally negative on this blog, Startup is a minor league signing who gives the Orioles another left-hander for their farm system. He isn't being trumpeted as the free agent who will push them ahead

Where there's a Will...

I bet you thought I was going to say Will Ohman. According to a tweet (there's that word again) from FoxSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi, the Orioles have signed left-handed reliever Will Startup to a minor league contract. No word on whether he'll receive a spring training invite, but I'd ship him in bubble wrap. Startup, 25, missed the entire 2008 season and most of 2009

Staff injections (with update)

Keep your hands off my mama, keep your hands off my Doritos. Consider yourselves warned. Since we examined the 13 available spots for position players earlier today, let's shift to the 12-man pitching staff. Keep in mind, of course, that performances and potential late acquisitions will influence the list. We're tackling this issue on Feb. 8 (and doing a much better job of it than

Getting in position

By this time next week, I'll be tossing clothes in a suitcase and wondering how much AirTran will charge me for the privilege of checking in for my flight to Sarasota. Southwest doesn't fly into that city, which is one strike against the Orioles' spring training relocation. But I'm sure another airline can provide me with the same travel issues that hound me each year.

This, that and the other

The Erik Bedard deal makes more sense now that the Seattle media has determined that it includes a mutual option for 2011. Initial reports mentioned only the $1.5 million base salary and incentives. Why would any team sign him for one season when he might not be available for at least the first two months, and will be less than a year removed from labrum

Digging out and pitching in

A polar bear knocked on my door this morning and asked when pitchers and catchers report. Is that weird? I've shoveled my sidewalk and dug out my car five times, once rising out of bed at 5 a.m., and I still can't keep ahead of this storm. And I did it with my fingers crossed, hoping and praying that my power doesn't go out. I

A few updates and notes

Logistical issues and some follow-up testing have caused a delay in Mark Hendrickson's new contract becoming official. We probably won't get an announcement before Monday, but it's coming. The Orioles haven't dismissed the idea of signing another starting pitcher before spring training, but they're focused only on non-roster deals at the moment. Unless something comes up unexpectedly that makes sense, they won't be offering a

Where Markakis hits

I've made the assumption that three spots in the Orioles' batting order are set. Brian Roberts leads off, Nick Markakis hits third and Cesar Izturis hits ninth. It's the rest of the lineup that's been a mystery. I still believe you'll it see play out that way on most nights, but manager Dave Trembley suggested yesterday that only two spots are locked up. "I would

Parker suspended

Orioles minor league pitcher Brian Parker has received a 50-game suspension from the office of the commissioner after a second positive test for a "drug of abuse" that violates the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension for Parker, currently on Double-A Bowie's roster, will begin at the start of the 2010 season. Parker led Single-A Frederick with 35 appearances last season, going

Shameless plug alert

I'll be joining Tom Davis and Phil Wood today for a special edition of "Wall to Wall Baseball" on MASN. The show runs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and includes a call-in segment with manager Dave Trembley around 4:15 p.m. I'll torture him and ask for his Opening Day lineup and rotation. The latest on Erik Bedard includes a blog out of Seattle from

Caleb Joseph's perspective on API

I've had a few readers wonder why a growing number of players are spending their winters at the Athletes' Performance Institute in Arizona, rather than working out at their local gym or hiring a personal trainer who makes house calls. Minor league catcher Caleb Joseph lived with Brian Matusz for part of the offseason, and they joined Brian Roberts and Adam Jones for daily sessions

Sarfate stays in organization (with quotes)

Dennis Sarfate has cleared waivers after being designated for assignment last week, and the Orioles outrighted him to Triple-A Norfolk. Sarfate received an invitation to spring training and will attempt to make the club as a non-roster pitcher. I would expect to see Sarfate back in Baltimore at some point this summer if he remains in the organization. His primary competition in Sarasota will come

A few notes

I'm told that the official announcement on Mark Hendrickson's one-year deal with the Orioles could come tomorrow. I wouldn't expect to hear anything today. I guess physicals take longer for guys who are 6 feet 9 or taller. The Orioles re-signed pitcher Andy Mitchell to a minor league deal, according to Baseball America's Matt Eddy. Mitchell's name isn't included on the list of spring training

Ripken's opinion on going from short to third

You want to know what it's like to move from shortstop to third base? You wonder about the adjustments, both mental and physical, that come with it? You need to know whether Miguel Tejada can make the switch so late in his career? Here's my question: Why are you asking me? Instead of subjecting you to my theories and speculation, I'll just let Cal Ripken

Catching up with Bigbie

In case you skipped over the most recent batch of comments attached to today's blog entry, "Buddy" provided a link to an article from the Ball State Daily News regarding former Oriole Larry Bigbie. Bigbie is being inducted into the Ball State Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday, an honor that might seem predictable given his status as a first-round draft pick and the years

Do the right thing

If you've been keeping those fingers crossed that catcher Robby Hammock would re-sign with the Orioles, he signed a minor league deal with the Colorado Rockies. Says so right here in Baseball America's latest minor league transactions. Hammock will dress in the same spring training clubhouse as Melvin Mora and Jay Payton. Also, catcher Gustavo Molina, who appeared in seven games with the Orioles in

Hendrickson update and more

Mark Hendrickson didn't complete his physical on Friday, so the medical stuff continued today. And while the club expects him to pass, his official signing could be delayed until later in the week. I apologize if I lost anyone with the phrase "medical stuff." I understand that some of you prefer layman's terms. The Orioles also won't expect to have Dennis Sarfate's situation resolved until

Hendrickson, Mora and Scott

We should receive official word today that reliever Mark Hendrickson has re-signed, though he may choose to make the announcement at the next Oriole Advocates luncheon. Hendrickson apparently has passed his physical. The MLB offices were closed over the weekend, which explains the delay. Am I the only person around here who isn't getting all sentimental over Melvin Mora's departure? Mora spent 10 seasons in

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