Orioles still deciding Jim Johnson's role (and more)

DALLAS - Orioles manager Buck Showalter is meeting with the media. I'll pass along a few notes here, and check Steve Melewski's blog for quotes.

Showalter laughed and shook his head when asked whether the Orioles signed Prince Fielder today. Maybe the results of the physical haven't come back yet.

Kidding.

Showalter repeated that every team here is looking for pitching. It's the "one common denominator," he said.

Jim Johnson's role for 2012 remains undecided. He could be a starter or reliever, depending on the other moves made over the winter.

Showalter said that Johnson is willing to do either one, and the right-hander will know his role before spring training. It won't be determined in the middle of camp.

Also, Showalter is receiving positive reports on Brian Matusz's conditioning sessions with Brady Anderson.

Chris Davis never underwent sports hernia surgery. He's feeling fine.

Showalter didn't fully commit to playing Davis at third base and Mark Reynolds at first. He mentioned that the two players could switch positions.

Still no expansive updates on Brian Roberts. Showalter has no idea whether the second baseman will be full-go in spring training.

"I don't have any reason to think one way or the other," Showalter said.

Showalter also said that Nick Markakis is almost fully recovered from a bone bruise in the right fielder's abdomen area. Markakis is scheduled to be examined by a specialist, just to make sure there are no surprises.

"He's close to 100 percent," Showalter said.

MORE: Showalter still doesn't know whether the Red Sox will let Demarlo Hale out of his contract so he can coach third base for the Orioles.

Also, Showalter repeated that in a perfect world, Robert Andino would start just about every night at a different position. However, Showalter also believes that Andino could be the regular second baseman if needed.

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