Arrieta and Mickolio

Arrieta and Mickolio
Jake Arrieta showed up today with a neatly trimmed beard that will be gone tomorrow. Arrieta has thrown about 12 bullpen sessions since Jan. 4. He'll try to squeeze into the rotation, perhaps bumping Chris Tillman from the fifth spot. Assuming Brad Bergesen avoids the disabled list, that would be Arrieta's best shot. "Whether there's an opening or not, I have to do everything I can to come out here and perform to the best of my ability and be confident in myself that all the hard work...
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General info on Patton

General info on Patton
Catcher Caleb Joseph still can't believe that he's in major league camp. He's waiting for someone to pinch him - though that might not be a good idea in the shower area. "All of these names," he said, gazing at the rows of lockers. "It's like Christmas in February." Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman reported to camp earlier today and ducked inside the weight room, which also is much bigger than my townhouse. No more tents set up in the parking lot. Championship banners have been hung...
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Wrapping it up

Wrapping it up
Day One didn't bring any major surprises in camp beyond the drastic differences between the Sarasota and Fort Lauderdale facilities. No more bumping into players inside a crowded clubhouse. No more tents posing as weight rooms. No more contact highs from the gas fumes at the executive airport. It will take some time before I stop shouting my questions to manager Dave Trembley. It wasn't easy being heard over the sound of planes taking off beyond the outfield fence. I can't get used to...
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Sending out another postcard

Sending out another postcard
I've been known to rush into relationships, and I'm ready to pay Sarasota's bills and buy it a sports car. Let's just say the place is growing on me. And fast. It's funny what happens once you venture a few miles from your hotel. If you're heading down here to catch a few spring training games and avoid the next blizzard, you'll want to visit Mediterraneo on Main St., but only if you can handle one of the best Italian meals of your life. Dine at your own risk. I'm listed as...
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The morning scene

The morning scene
Players are lined up in the clubhouse to take their physicals before the first workout. Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman arrived together again today, and they walked out together to grab breakfast. They stretched on the field together yesterday. You could say they're inseparable. Reliever Wilfrido Perez said his left arm is fine after he underwent surgery over the summer to remove bone chips from his elbow. Perez will compete for the job of lefty specialist, but I'm still guessing that he...
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Pie and Jones report

Pie and Jones report
Felix Pie and Adam Jones have reported to camp, joining the pitchers and catchers who are required to be here. Pie missed the last nine games after straining his left quadriceps muscle, and the healing process has been painfully slow. He's been in Sarasota for 1 1/2 months and finally is able to run sprints. "My leg is completely better," he said. "It took me like five months to be ready. Every time I'd start to run, it hurt, but it doesn't hurt anymore. "I'm ready to do my...
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Simon says...

Simon says...
After undergoing Tommy John surgery during the first week of May, right-hander Alfredo Simon has thrown off a mound twice and doesn't expect to be under any restrictions. Simon believes that he's ready to compete for a spot on the 12-man pitching staff - that's the number we're figuring until we're told otherwise - but the odds are stacked against him.
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The Ohman

The Ohman
Will Ohman snuck up behind Felix Pie this morning and gave him a big hug. He moved around the clubhouse, spotting familiar faces and getting reacquainted. Ohman is excited to be here and he didn't try to hide it. "It's kind of like a homecoming for me in a way," he said. "I know a lot of the guys here and a lot of the coaching staff from my days with the Cubs. I'm excited to work with Kranny again." Ohman chose the Orioles over other teams offering minor league deals because he saw a...
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Koji confirmed

Koji confirmed
The first day of workouts went smoothly. No visa issues, no injuries. Brad Bergesen is the only pitcher who's restricted. Alfredo Simon is full-go, as I wrote earlier today, less than a year after having ligament-reconstructive surgery on his right elbow. Manager Dave Trembley confirmed what we already suspected: Koji Uehara will work in a relief role this season. "I talked to Koji today before we came out so that if you all asked him questions, he could not evade the answers. And I wanted...
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Talking Trembley

Talking Trembley
On the first workout at the new complex: "It was fun to be out here today, a lot of fun. Everybody was anxious to get out. We had a very good, productive today." On Alfredo Simon not being under any restrictions: "He was a guy that when I came here at the beginning of the week I asked (head athletic trainer) Richie Bancells about, and he said (Simon) was a full-go. I saw him in instructional league at the end of September last year and I was told that in all likelihood he would be a full-go...
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Some leftovers from today

Some leftovers from today
Kevin Millwood spent a large part of the morning talking to Brad Bergesen at his locker. Millwood's locker is situated between Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman. Let the veteran influence begin. Matusz and Tillman played catch after the pre-workout stretch. As if you were expecting anything different. Felix Pie said he's more comfortable around his teammates this spring compared to last year, when he arrived late because of visa issues in the Dominican. "It feels more like home," he...
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More early arrivals

More early arrivals
Robert Andino and Scott Moore checked into the team hotel last night and will report to camp today. It's an interesting pairing, since Moore could be competing for Andino's utility job. Moore underwent surgery on his right thumb after being shut down the second week of May. He appeared in 32 games with Triple-A Norfolk, batting .252 with seven homers and 21 RBIs. Moore has impressed the Orioles in spring training. He got off to a sizzling start at Norfolk last year. The only issues have...
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A few early notes

A few early notes
You can add Rhyne Hughes to the list of position players who reported early. And I know it's Hughes only because someone pointed him out to me. Can't say that I'd recognize him. Hughes, Adam Jones, Felix Pie, Robert Andino, Justin Turner, Blake Davis and Scott Moore are in camp ahead of schedule. Chorye Spoone has been throwing since mid-December and only stopped because of the blizzards. He's in good health again and said he just needs to work on his timing. It will be interesting to...
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Markakis is here

Markakis is here
Nick Markakis has reported to camp - with his son, Taylor, riding on his shoulders. Markakis still has the thick beard. But not much longer. He's wearing a long-sleeve camouflage shirt, cut-off sweatpants, and crocs with black socks. He wasn't approached for a single autograph as he wandered between the practice fields. It's as if no one recognizes him. Koji Uehara just finished his bullpen session. Unlike last spring, none of us charted his pitches. I'll try to grab pitching coach...
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Pitchers impress today

Pitchers impress today
Position players who reported early didn't have to take the field for the pre-workout stretch until 11:05 a.m. Adam Jones approached manager Dave Trembley and sought permission to join the pitchers and catchers at 9:15 a.m. He also stayed back after the workout concluded and signed autographs for every fan that requested one. "I think he wants to assume a lot more leadership here by example, and that's great. That's really needed, welcomed," Trembley said. Trembley and pitching coach...
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More stuff from today's workout

More stuff from today's workout
Outfielder Jeff Salazar also has reported to camp early. Felix Pie crushed a ball during batting practice that slammed off the indoor batting cage beyond the right field fence. He also was ripping line drives all over the place. Adam Jones provided non-stop chatter during the session, which also included Blake Davis and Justin Turner. Manager Dave Trembley and minor league instructor Mike Bordick stood behind the cage. I must be losing my mind. I forgot that Davis bats from the left side....
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Roberts, Jones and Millwood

Roberts, Jones and Millwood
The Orioles still expect Brian Roberts to be a full-go when he reports to camp. They haven't received any reports to the contrary. Manager Dave Trembley was asked whether Adam Jones might have gotten a little ahead of himself at one point last season (I know the guy's fast, but I didn't think he was that fast.) "I think he probably wanted to do a little bit too much too soon. I think he got out of his lane a little bit because he wants to do so well," Trembley replied. "We have to...
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More from Moore

More from Moore
Infielder Scott Moore said he began working out with former Orioles center fielder Brady Anderson in August after they met last spring and struck up a friendship. "I just happened to run into him," Moore told me earlier today. "I wore No. 9 the year I made the team out of spring training. Brady was a really good player here and I just talked to him about wearing No. 9 and how I thought that was pretty cool. He asked me where I worked out and invited me down to his house in the off-season,...
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Tillman's new pitch

Tillman's new pitch
I just left the Orioles' clubhouse, which is open to the media from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Players will head to the back fields in a few minutes for the pre-workout stretch. Chris Tillman has started to experiment with a cut fastball, though he isn't sure whether he'll carry it into the regular season. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz approached Tillman with the idea, and the right-hander decided to run with it. "It's something Kranny mentioned to me, that I might want to work on it in the...
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Quick hits

Quick hits
Brandon Snyder has reported to camp. Nick Markakis is taking batting practice with Adam Jones and Felix Pie. I almost didn't recognize him without the thick beard and hair. Jones looks good in the cage. He's ripping line drives all over the field. Will Ohman was bringing some serious heat in his bullpen session. Mike Gonzalez was the opposite. He threw free and easy, but he wasn't popping the mitt. Chad Moeller caught Chris Tillman during the right-hander's session, and they had a...
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