SARASOTA, Fla. - Derrek Lee took ground balls at first base this morning, but most of his work was done before taking the field for the first full-squad workout. He continues to hit soft tosses in the cage.
“After talking to him, everything’s progressing right on schedule. In fact, he’s ahead of schedule,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Lee underwent surgery in November to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. The Orioles won’t rush him, and they don’t seem concerned about getting him enough at-bats before the opener.
“Let’s take it each day and see how sore he is tomorrow and go with it,” Showalter said. “He knows it better than anybody. He’s the one who dealt with it the past year. The doctor that did it is real upbeat about where he is with it. Right now, I don’t see it being a problem for us if he continues to progress at the rate that he is.”
Showalter was pleased with today’s workout, though he mentioned how one player will need to catch up to the rest of the group.
“(Pedro) Florimon, we’ve got to work on a few things with him,” Showalter said.
Florimon was the last player to report to camp, though he made it on time. Position players didn’t have to be here before yesterday.
Showalter was glad to hear that last night’s motivational film was such a huge hit among his players.
“Derrek got up to go to the bathroom, like most of us do at a theater, and I grabbed him and said, ‘Hold on a second, we’ve got a good part coming up here. Your part.’ It was fun. It was a good night,” Showalter said.
“Each team you coach and manage is different. It’s all about serving their needs. It’s about them, empowering them to be what we need.”
Showalter said he recognized only one song in the film, from Garth Brooks.
I’ll leave you with this quote from center field Adam Jones, when asked about Showalter’s influence over the last two months and how he’s been running this camp:
“We’re going to go out there and play the games,” Jones said. “All he’s going to do is write the lineup. We have to take it upon ourselves as players to get the job done. He can’t play anymore, (Willie) Randolph can’t play anymore, (Wayne) Kirby can’t play anymore. They’ve had their careers. It’s up to us. It’s not up to them.”