SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter has set up a team meeting for later tonight. He’s expecting Rule 5 pick Michael Almanzar and outfielder Francisco Peguero to be in attendance.
Almanzar and Peguero were the only two players who hadn’t reported to camp by this afternoon.
Update: Peguero is here.
The first full-squad workout takes place on Wednesday.
Will it be anti-climatic, considering that most of the team has been working out?
“It’s going to be like the first day of pitchers and catchers,” Showalter said. “It’s like an army out there. Jimmy (Presley) didn’t know how many guys were going to show up. I think we ended up splitting them up on two fields.
“The first time we get everybody in, it’s exciting.”
Showalter indicated that Ubaldo Jimenez could work out on Wednesday. Jimenez took his physical this morning and the early returns are “very positive,” though an announcement confirming his signing isn’t expected tonight.
The rotation competition just got a whole lot more interesting with the additions of Jimenez and Suk-min Yoon.
“There always a form of competition,” Showalter said. “There are spots and a ranking, so to speak. They’re just competitive people. That’s what they do. So many things can change between now and the end of spring. You pitch well and its nothing but good for you. It can make for a good problem. (That’s) what we hope happens.”
The odds grew longer for certain pitchers in camp, and Showalter checked to make sure the ripple effect from the agreements with Yoon and Jimenez didn’t make waves in the clubhouse.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “I’ve been looking for it. As a matter of fact, I was looking for it a little bit today and everybody was engaged. I’m not expecting anyone to walk through the door and say, ‘What you do that for?’ What if two guys got hurt or Dan (Duquette) came in here with a great trade and two guys get traded? Just keep pitching.
“They really control it. They really do. Either they’ll make themselves very available for us or be attractive for someone else. Other teams know who is out of options. Or maybe people are now going to be saying, ‘Man, they have an excess.’ Maybe that’s an acquisition or whatever.”
Showalter has done his homework on Jimenez, who agreed to a four-year, $50 million contract last night - the largest given by the Orioles to a free agent pitcher.
“I’ve picked a lot of brains of people who have had him recently and in the past,” Showalter said. “I know when he’s been real good and when he’s had some struggles. I feel like I have a pretty good idea coming in what’s happened in the past. I’m more interested in the future and the present. I talked to him today a little bit.”
Showalter learned about the agreement while playing golf yesterday.
“My group was a little late starting because I was talking to someone who was very instrumental,” he said. “It got finalized while I was out there. I actually texted a few players on the course. (Matt) Wieters was in the group behind me. I said, ‘Did you check your phone?’ He said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Check it.’
“Peter (Angelos) really stepped up and that’s really exactly what we had to do to get him. He stepped up on Yoon, he stepped up on (Carlos) Diaz. If you look at Diaz and (Jomar) Reyes, would you rather have those three or a first round pick? That’s the way we look at it. And we’re not through there, either.”
Gonzalez played catch again today.
“It was fine,” Showalter said. “Everything is going well.”
Gonzalez already has thrown five bullpen sessions.
“He’s fine,” Showalter said. “If anything, we’ll probably have to slow him down at some point this spring anyway.”