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 him about wearing No. 9 and how I thought that was pretty cool. He asked me where I worked out and invited me down to his house in the off-season, so when I got hurt and was home, I wasn't going to go back to my place that I usually go to in the off-season. I just called him up to check it out and see how it was, and from there, I loved what we were doing and I stayed there the whole off-season.
"The biggest difference I did this year was we did a lot of track workouts, where in the past my running was more geared toward conditioning. This year, the running was geared more toward trying to get faster and more powerful. In the past, it was a lot more strength and weights and core and running for conditioning. This year, we ran a lot."
Moore said he's 10 pounds lighter "than I've ever been," but that's not the only difference.
"I feel stronger," he said.
Moore has taken batting practice with other hitters in the past, but he also confined that part of his workout to his sessions with Anderson.
"We made little adjustments and I think that's going to make a big difference, also, being consistent throughout the season," he said.
The surgery on Moore's right thumb involved repairing the ligament and reducing the capsule to increase his range of motion. He tried to play through the injury, first sustained in 2008, but couldn't do it.
"The first time I got hurt, I built up a lot of scar tissue and they wanted to reduce it," he said.
Moore hit seven homers and drove in 21 runs in 32 games at Triple-A Norfolk before being shut down and undergoing season-ending surgery.
"Even if I would have gotten off to a terrible start, I didn't want to get hurt," he said. "I had a good spring training, got off to a good start in the regular season in Triple-A. Yeah, it's frustrating being home at the end of May. It's not fun. I had to come say hi to everybody in Anaheim instead of being called up to Anaheim."
Moore won't compete for a starting job with all four infield spots occupied. His best chance is to unseat Robert Andino as the utility infielder.
"I'm here like I was last year, trying to come out and show that I can help the team win in any way possible and however they need me," he said. "They'd be crazy not to sign Miguel Tejada and Garrett Atkins. They're trying to make the team better. Hopefully, I'm part of that."
Moore moved around the infield two spring trainings ago, but manager Dave Trembley kept him at third base last year. It's time to make him mobile again. And he should be taking fly balls in left field.
"I have no idea what's in store now," he said.