SARASOTA, Fla. - Don’t be fooled by the ping pong table, the bumper pool table and the cornhole boards inside the Orioles clubhouse at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. The players are here to work. The games just provide another avenue to bond, to blow off a little steam, to pass the time before taking the field or attending meetings.
Outfielder David Lough, acquired from the Royals on Dec. 18 for Danny Valencia, said this camp is “a lot more intense from the get-go” compared to what he’s experienced in the past.
“We do a lot more running in the outfield and it seems like everything is well-organized,” he said. “I’m excited to be part of this organization and excited to start these games up. I know the first week and a half, you get soreness. Just getting used to being on the field again. It’s exciting so far.”
Knowing manager Buck Showalter’s reputation, Lough fully expected the camp to be run with precision.
“He definitely has an eye for detail,” Lough said. “That’s Buck for you. I came into this camp expecting that. Just a well-organized camp.
“I’ve heard great things about Buck and what he does and how he runs things. So far, so good. It’s been awesome.”
Lough, who turned 28 last month, doesn’t need spring training to get in shape. He showed up ripped, with a body fat count of only 3 percent, the lowest that Showalter has seen.
Is this a typical measurement for Lough?
“Well, I was a little bit more,” he said. “I was around 4 (percent) last year.”
I guess that qualified as letting himself go.
“I take care of my body to the fullest,” Lough said. “I always tell people, ‘I’m an athlete and I try to treat myself as an athlete.’ Not put the wrong foods in my body. So I take care of my body. My offseason is just as important as during the season.
“It’s just clean eating. I think that’s the most important part. Stay away from all the bad fats, sugars, all the bad stuff that you kind of get into and stick to. I like to stay with mostly organic foods and maybe have a cheat meal once in a while. But I’m pretty strict in the offseason, for sure.”
A cheat meal? I figured that he meant an extra cube of tofu on his salad, but check it out.
“I either do wings or I’ll do maybe a pizza every once in a while,” he said. “I’ll sit down and have a large to myself, just devour it, because I never usually do it. Maybe have pizza maybe twice a year, so when I do it, I do it big. I have a big meal.”
As you’d expect, Lough has worked out at the facility with club executive and former outfielder Brady Anderson, who had major input in the design of the weight rooms at the Ed Smith Stadium and Twin Lakes Park complexes.
“I’ve picked Brady’s head a little bit so far,” Lough said. “It’s fun to talk to him because he knows so much about training and kind of brings that aspect into the baseball world, too. Just keeping yourself healthy and what it takes. So, I’m going to definitely be by his side hopefully the whole way and kind of gain as much knowledge as I can.”
Anderson turned 50 last month.
“It’s incredible,” Lough said. “He was running sprints with us and he was actually beating some of the guys in times. I was really impressed at 50.”
As for today’s camp agenda, the Orioles don’t currently have a press conference scheduled, so things are slowing down. Executive vice president Dan Duquette is still considering options at designated hitter, however, and his club continues to be linked to free agents Kendrys Morales and Nelson Cruz.
Duquette said he wants to take a closer look at some in-house candidates, “but in the meantime, we’ll take a look at other options.”
“We’re working every day to add to the roster. I can tell you that,” he said during last night’s “Hot Stove Baseball” on WBAL Radio.
Dylan Bundy will throw again from 150 feet today as he works toward 180 and then a return to the mound. He’ll probably play catch with Anderson, since minor league medical coordinator Dave Walker has reported to Twin Lakes Park.
Bundy’s rehab schedule includes a March 31 target date for his first full bullpen session.
Bobby Bundy, who underwent the same elbow surgery as his brother in August, will start his throwing program next week with a flat ground session from 45 feet.