Trying to catch on

Chad Moeller re-signed with the Orioles because he figured to remain their backup catcher. The best opportunity was found in Baltimore. Otherwise, he might have kept looking for a job rather than accept their minor league offer and spring invite on Dec. 15.

Manager Dave Trembley suggested yesterday that the competition between Moeller and Craig Tatum would carry into the final days of spring training.

So much for being the overwhelming favorite.

Moeller doesn't possess Tatum's arm, but he's a mentor to the young pitchers and comfortable in the American League East. He has a history, though brief, with the Orioles. He would seem to retain the edge.

"I go out and try to take care of my business the best I can," Moeller said earlier today. "It feels like it's been a good spring so far. For me, it's always been about working with the pitchers and making sure that I'm helping them out the best I can and helping out the young kids with things they have questions about. There are questions every day and it's trying to help them on their learning curve."

Jobs aren't usually handed to Moeller. He'd probably faint from shock if it happened.

"There's always competition in this game," he said. "Somebody always wants your job. I've been in situations where I've wanted somebody else's job. That stuff does not change. It's always there. But I can't change what I do or who I am. I continue to work on things, but I can't be something different."

Moeller is a career .226 hitter, but he's batting .300 with two homers this spring.

"That part's been good," he said. "Last year, I finished up pretty good here. It's hard to get those jobs back once you lost them like I did in Milwaukee with some tough years. It's trying to re-prove that you are capable of something a little bit more than what happened there. And it's tough to find a team that's going to give you the at-bats to do it."


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