In other news

After the blitz of news, posts and reader comments about Vladimir Guerrero, here is a tidbit or two on other things Oriole.

Even though new Orioles' pitcher Justin Duchscherer has made 192 career major league appearances out of the bullpen, don't expect to see him doing any of that in Baltimore.

"He sees himself as a starter and we brought him in with the idea that he'd be given every chance to be a starter," O's president Andy MacPhail said.

MacPhail said the Orioles currently have eight pitchers competing for the starting five rotation spots and that includes Rick VandenHurk, Zach Britton and Chris Tillman.

But it clearly looks like a now healthy Duchscherer has an edge on the competition to claim a spot in the season-opening rotation.

"I think that's a function of spring training. Really that is up to Buck and the staff. We obviously brought him in with the idea that if healthy he would probably break (camp) with us," MacPhail said.

"We were interested in trying to give ourselves more comfort with numbers. You'd much rather have eight guys competing for five spots than seven guys or six guys. There is some safety in numbers."

MacPhail said the O's looked at several different pitchers as possible additions, but then settled on Duchscherer after he threw a bullpen session for the club about 10 days ago.

"We had a list of guys we were watching. I think Justin is an intriguing guy because when he's been healthy, there has seldom been anything other than productive and successful innings pitched. The issue is durability, not one of ability," he said.

Meanwhile, a few days ago I wrote about Mike Bordick and B.J Surhoff and how they have been part of a group working at Camden Yards the last month with some of the O's minor leaguers.

O's 2008 third-round pick L.J. Hoes was one of the young hitters getting pointers from that duo.

"It's been going really well," the 20-year-old Hoes said. "Mike Bordick and B.J. Surhoff give you great advice. It is also good to have a guy like Tyler (Henson) there in the Orioles system that I am close to and look up to. We can talk to each other about our swings. Just to get there (Camden Yards) and get a taste of it makes you work that much harder to get there."

Hoes batted .278 with three homers and 44 RBIs in 97 games in 2010 at Frederick. He has spent a lot of time working on his plate discipline and increased his on-base percentage from .299 at Delmarva in 2009 to .375 with the Keys last summer.

He said he is always looking to improve his game and the Camden Yards workouts gave him another chance to do just that.

"You are always working on specific things to try and get better, whether it's letting the ball get deeper on an outside pitch or starting your hands on an inside pitch. There are always things to work on when hitting. Pitchers get better as you move up so you need to make the minor adjustments for the long run," Hoes added.

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