Buck on Roberts, working with Duquette and the training camp pitching competition

Orioles manager Buck Showalter was asked today about Brian Roberts. He has been optimistic when talking about the veteran second baseman and his outlook for the 2013 season. He was asked after today’s press conference if Roberts has had a winter free of any health concerns or issues.

“That wouldn’t be completely honest if I said that,” Showalter said without elaborating on exactly what he meant. “He feels really good right now and he’s working out. He’ll be here in a day or two and you can ask him that same question.”

As for today’s announcement, Showalter was glad that the press conference has come and gone and he’s hoping to talk less about his own contract extension and more about the 2013 season and the players.

“I didn’t have a sleepless night last night. I didn’t sleep much, but it was thinking about the team and some things that we have to get ahead of. But I hope this is the last focus on this. It wasn’t an issue. (Owner) Peter (Angelos) just wanted to get ahead of it and initiated it and I’m honored and humbled by it.”

Showalter talked about his working relationship with executive vice president Dan Duquette.

“I think we have a real respect for what each other is good at. I know my strengths and weaknesses. There are things he can do that I can’t and don’t want to do. I know where my comfort zone is. I know if he doesn’t pick up on the first or second ring, something important is going on.

“If you harken back to when we started the GM (search) process, I was fortunate to be a part of that. There was a certain connection with his M.O. and track record and where he was in his life and what would make him want to do this and bring the energy that is required. The manager and general manager have to be close. It doesn’t function (without that). It may for a year, but it doesn’t function (long) properly.”

Showalter estimated that about 25 Orioles are at Camden Yards working out today and it’s not only pitchers as Danny Valencia, Wilson Betamit and LJ Hoes were among those passing through the Orioles clubhouse earlier today.

“Our camp is going great. Last year, I think it helped us get off to a good start with our pitching and not being surprised by anything. We have a lot of the physical stuff going on, on Friday with the doctors. I’m ready to head to Sarasota,” Showalter said.

Showalter sounds like a manager who welcomes all the competition there will be for roster spots this spring training among the many pitching candidates for both rotation and bullpen spots. He said he would have no concerns about sending a veteran player back to the minor leagues and no concerns whether that would hurt a player’s morale.

“No. If that’s the deciding factor whether they become a good major league pitcher, then they probably are not going to. We have some people that are out of options. But we have a chance to have a manuverable pitching staff again. But we are not going to penalize someone who can help us win more games than the other guy because this guy is out of options. If this guy is the best, that is where we are going. We are not going to lose a game in April because of some contractual or roster issues. We’ll get around it. There will be some tough calls, but for the right reasons,” he said.

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