SARASOTA, Fla. - The first official workout of spring training will be held later today after players take their physicals. You can’t be on the field without one.
Stay tuned for photos of pitchers running and throwing; of catchers running and throwing; of at least a few position players running and throwing - and maybe hitting in the cage.
We’ll find out later if anyone has work visa issues. It’s a frequent occurrence in camps and manager Buck Showalter is bracing for it.
The physicals shouldn’t be problematic. Non-roster left-hander Jeff Beliveau is recovering from April labrum surgery and likely will be brought along slowly in the early going, but the others are expected to be full-go from the beginning.
Showalter watched Beliveau throw off flat ground last month at the minicamp and got a pretty good read on the former Rays reliever.
“Beliveau is a guy we’re not sure about,” Showalter said. “I was talking about him. Watching him pitch, I know now why he’s had success if you look at it from a hitter’s standpoint. He has a different presentation. If you see the velocity, it’s not, ‘wow,’ but when you see the presentation, his delivery, you don’t see the ball well off this guy, so I’m intrigued by him.
“We really want to get him out of here healthy.”
The Orioles gladly would take a healthy season from shortstop J.J. Hardy, who’s had an assortment of injuries over the past two years that zapped his power. Hardy reported early to the Ed Smith Stadium complex after working out over the winter in the detached garage at his Arizona home.
Hardy is swinging the bat with full force over his first couple of days in camp, the left shoulder no longer barking at him like the neighbor’s mutt. He’s confident that he’ll put up numbers again as he’s usually done when healthy, the exception being in 2009 with the Brewers.
“It’s just nice going out there and seeing the same guys year in and year out,” Hardy said last night on the “Hot Stove Show” on 105.7 The Fan. “In this business, you’re used to seeing new people every spring training and you get a lot of questions like, ‘How’s it going to be adjusting to a new second baseman? How’s it going to be adjusting to a new third baseman?’ But not having to answer those questions and knowing the guys to my left and my right is a huge advantage.”
Center fielder Adam Jones probably would appreciate the same edge, but he’s got a new left fielder again with the signing of Korean outfielder Hyun Soo Kim and most likely a new right fielder after the Orioles went through 11 of them last season.
They’re trying to put the finishing touches on an agreement with Dexter Fowler. Mark Trumbo will take fly balls in right, joining Rule 5 pick Joey Rickard, Efren Navarro, Nolan Reimold, Dariel Alvarez and L.J. Hoes, among others.
Where have you gone, Travis Snider? Oh yeah, right, he’s in the Royals’ camp.
We know where Delmon Young has gone. You don’t want to follow him there.
We also can grow nostalgic for Gerardo Parra, Alejandro De Aza, Steve Pearce and Chris Parmelee.
The Orioles put Hoes’ locker next to Jones, who resides in a far corner from the entrance. There should be a lot of laughs in that area.
The clubhouse just isn’t the same, however, without reliever Tommy Hunter providing a running commentary and playing the role of class clown. He’s missed around here.
Hunter signed a one-year deal with the Indians that guarantees $2 million after reportedly failing a physical with the Yankees that voided a two-year agreement worth between $11.5-12 million.
Hunter underwent core muscle surgery last month and won’t be ready for opening day.