Showalter time

Luke Scott with Deer

Orioles manager Buck Showalter just finished a lengthy interview session with reporters. One interested spectator was Luke Scott, who lives about an hour away and showed up with the usual winter beard and carrying an envelope with color photographs of the kills from his latest hunting trip.

Not for the squeamish. Trust me.

Showalter spoke about Josh Bell's efforts to get in better shape. The Orioles pushed him to avoid playing winter ball and instead place more emphasis "on some things he wants to do with his body."

"We decided as a group he was going to take a week or so off and take it from that point forward and really try to come back and attack some things with his body physically, and that's where he is," Showalter said.

Showalter placed two calls to Bell and is waiting to hear back from him.

Revisiting the Mark Reynolds trade, Showalter mentioned the importance of adding a right-handed bat to the middle of the order.

"The way I look at it, we're going to see a minimum of nine to 10 left-handed starters in the month of April," Showalter said. "We'd like to get off to a decent start."

Showalter wouldn't be concerned about the Orioles obtaining a strikeout-prone first baseman if he's a "plus-defender."

Showalter was asked whether he has a sense on who will play first base and shortstop.

"No," he replied. "There are some moving parts there. There are some possibilities out there that Andy (MacPhail) and the guys continue to kick the tires on."

Showalter talked about the importance of "attacking the bullpen" and bringing in some guys "with track records."

"We feel like we're fairly close on some of those things," he said. "I know where we are with it, but you've got to have cooperation from the team you're dealing with or an agent. The way we feel the timeframe should go and the way they feel is sometimes two different things."

Showalter remains hopeful that the Orioles will re-sign closer Koji Uehara.

As far as Showalter knows, Brian Roberts is fine physically.

Showalter said it's possible that the Orioles could re-sign Cesar Izturis to fill a utility role if the veteran doesn't find a starting job. However, Showalter hasn't closed the door on Izturis being his starting shortstop.

Showalter also said he's looking forward to getting a close look at minor league first baseman Joe Mahoney in spring training.


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