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 of Nick and we’re going to have somebody to hit behind Nick this year. I don’t know who it’s going to be yet, but I think it’s going to make Nick a lot more relaxed and he’s going to have a big year,” manager Dave Trembley said.
“To watch him hit today, he was swinging effortlessly and hitting them into the trees out there, and you wonder, ‘How the heck can he do that the first day?’ A special talent.
“He’s a natural, but it doesn’t come because he doesn’t work at it.”
Markakis reported to Camden Yards three times a week in January as part of his morning workout routine, and he appears to be in tremendous condition.
“Nick was out of his house early every morning working out and getting stronger,” Trembley said.
Kam Mickolio lost 12 pounds over the winter and also came into camp in excellent shape.
“He moved out of Montana this winter, he lived in Norfolk, he came to Florida early, he was down in Sarasota 15 days before he had to come to camp, he worked very hard,” Trembley said.
“We had three conversations on the phone and I told him this was his year. I watched him run today. He couldn’t run like that last year in spring training. I think for what he could bring to us, I would be very, very, very surprised if he doesn’t do what we think he can do. I think he can be the guy, but he’s got to show it. We’ve got to see him in the games and he’s got to stay healthy and he’s got to be able to handle the workload and all that. But I just see a guy with the mindset this spring where he knows what’s on the table for him.
“He’s left two seasons in a row where he’s had some fatigue. He looks very strong. He threw very hard yesterday. He can be very nasty. He’s a big boy, throws hard.”
I’ll choose Mickolio as my breakout player this spring, since his inclusion on the 25-man roster wasn’t assumed.
Pitching coach Rick Kranitz interrupted Will Ohman’s bullpen session twice because the left-hander was throwing with maximum effort and needed to dial it down a little.
“He’s a high-energy guy and he’s going to be a max-effort guy and he wants to do very well and make a very good impression, so we’re going to have to pull the reins on him somewhat,” Trembley said. “But if he can throw the slider and match up against left-handed hitters and get outs, he will be very valuable for us.”
When a reporter suggested that Ohman was “quirky,” Trembley smiled and replied: “He might be a little bit more than that.”