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...
Continue reading

Notes from today's workout

Notes from today's workout
The Orioles still haven't scheduled a bullpen session for Brad Bergesen. They want him to complete two or three extended flat-ground sessions before advancing to the next stage. Bergesen suggested that an optimistic timetable would be late next week. Nick Markakis was launching balls over the outfield fence during batting practice. It was an impressive display. "We're going to have somebody to hit in front of Nick and we're going to have somebody to hit behind Nick this year. I don't...
Continue reading

Millwood and Markakis

Millwood and Markakis
Kevin Millwood was the first Oriole on the field for the 9:15 a.m. pre-workout stretch, putting him at least 10 minutes ahead of everyone else. He's routinely the first player to arrive at each station. It hasn't gone unnoticed. "That's what a No. 1 guy does," manager Dave Trembley said. "Plus, he pitches his (butt) off every fifth day. He shows these guys what you're supposed to do. "I said, 'How are you doing?' And he said, 'I'm having a blast.' He's going to help us." None...
Continue reading

Life of Brian (Matusz)

Life of Brian (Matusz)
Brian Matusz had his second bullpen session today since reporting to Sarasota, and the left-hander made noticeable strides. And I'm not talking about his delivery. "I made some good improvements today with my two-seam fastball," he said. "Both times I threw to Caleb Joseph, and we have a good relationship because he caught me at Frederick, so he knows about me and I know about him. "My first session, I was opening up with my front side with my two-seam fastball and I wasn't following...
Continue reading

Reimold's in camp

Reimold's in camp
Outfielders Nolan Reimold and Matt Angle have reported to camp. Reimold has run on a treadmill, but not outdoors, while recovering from Achilles surgery. "It feels good right now. When I walk around, I don't feel anything. We'll see how it feels when I'm running around for 10 hours a day," he said. "After a lot of running, it still gets a bit little sore, but it's obviously better than last year." When I asked Reimold if he has any concerns about being ready for Opening Day, he...
Continue reading

Moeller and more

Moeller and more
Continuing yesterday's blog entry about Chad Moeller talking at length to pitcher Chris Tillman after the right-hander's bullpen session, the veteran catcher told me the following: "There was nothing specific. It's always a matter of what I'm seeing, and also encouragement for him or to point out something that I may have seen that I didn't like. And in his case, there's nothing I saw that I didn't like. "I wanted to see how his cutter looked, and I was pleased with what it looked...
Continue reading

Early notes

Early notes
Garrett Atkins and Luke Scott have reported to camp. Chris Tillman was removed from the field after experiencing back spasms, but it wasn't his day to throw. He's expected to be fine. Tillman's back tightened up after yesterday's session. Koji Uehara bounced some throws in front of catcher Craig Tatum during his session, but Tatum blocked each one cleanly. You can focus on the positive or the negative of that last sentence. Alfredo Simon's velocity was outstanding. It's hard to...
Continue reading

Health updates

Health updates
Pitcher Chris Tillman expects to throw his next bullpen session tomorrow and said he came off the field this morning "as a precaution" after experiencing some back spasms. "I could have participated 100 percent today," he said. Tillman said he fell asleep on a couch yesterday, which might have caused the tightness in his back. He's experienced spasms in the past. Tillman didn't fall behind the other pitchers, since this wasn't his day to throw. Brad Bergesen made 35 throws off flat...
Continue reading

Worth noting

Worth noting
Brian Roberts is in town, though I haven't seen him. His agent, Mark Pieper, visited camp today. Scott Moore will take ground balls at third base and first base in the early days of camp. Manager Dave Trembley said he'll decide later whether Moore shifts to other positions. Robert Andino and Justin Turner will play third, second and shortstop. Andino also will take fly balls in the outfield. Trembley noted that Brad Bergesen is "probably very close" to getting on the mound. "He's...
Continue reading

Steady diet of Atkins quotes

Steady diet of Atkins quotes
As new first baseman Garrett Atkins finished a brief session with reporters in front of his locker, he spotted hitting coach Terry Crowley walking across the clubhouse. "Hey Crow," he yelled, his voice raised for the first time. Atkins wanted to know when they could meet in the indoor batting cage. Crowley, never one to put off such a request, replied, "How about right now?" And so it begins. Crowley will try to correct whatever flaws might have contributed to Atkins' disappointing...
Continue reading

Berken up the wrong tree

Berken up the wrong tree
Jason Berken was pleased with his bullpen session today, his second since reporting to camp. Berken threw 35 pitches, most of them fastballs. But he also mixed in his changeup and breaking ball. Earlier this winter, I speculated that Berken or David Hernandez could move to the bullpen as part of the 12-man pitching staff. I'm not as confident in that arrangement now that the Orioles want to keep a left-handed specialist - assuming Will Ohman, Alberto Castillo, Mike Hinckley or Wilfrido Perez...
Continue reading

Don't forget to read your Wieters

Don't forget to read your Wieters
Matt Wieters caught Alfredo Simon's bullpen session yesterday. And like the rest of us, he's amazed that the right-hander is less than a year removed from ligament-reconstructive surgery. "I was really impressed with the life he had on his fastball, especially coming off Tommy John," Wieters said. "His fastball was very lively. It was a lot more lively than I was expecting it to be this early in spring training." Wieters also was impressed by Cla Meredith. "He really stuck out to...
Continue reading

Early observations (with Luke Scott quotes)

Early observations (with Luke Scott quotes)
Cesar Izturis, Ty Wigginton and Michael Aubrey have rolled into camp. Luke Scott shaved his beard. He said the clippers jammed up a few times and his face felt "cold." Scott hasn't been told where he'll play this spring, so he's prepared to shag flys and take ground balls at first. As the Orioles made their roster moves over the winter, Scott had to wonder how he'd be impacted. "Personally, everyone wants to have a really good idea of where they're going to fit it, what they're...
Continue reading

Tillman update

Tillman update
Chris Tillman won't throw in the bullpen today, as he continues to deal with the back spasms that forced him off the field yesterday. Tillman stood and watched as the Orioles played catch after stretching. He's walking to each station, but he hasn't picked up a ball.
Continue reading

A few post-workout notes

A few post-workout notes
Chris Tillman said his back tightened up again during the night, but it felt better as the day progressed. "I probably could have gone through the whole workout, but that would have been dumb on my part," he said. "I've still got a lot of time to get in shape, and I came into camp with my arm in good shape." Tillman hopes to complete a side session tomorrow. "He did a lot of bullpens before he came," manager Dave Trembley said. "He's fine. He's not behind or anything. I think he...
Continue reading

An afternoon notes snack

An afternoon notes snack
Brian Roberts is taking his physical. Reporters hung around his locker for about an hour before taking the hint and returning to the media trailer. Nick Markakis was tearing the cover off the ball in batting practice. One frozen rope after another. Felix Pie also put on an impressive display. He launched one ball onto a stairwell beyond the right field fence, and a gusting wind knocked down another drive. Pie is becoming one of the liveliest and funniest guys in the clubhouse. His...
Continue reading

Roberts talks about his back

Roberts talks about his back
Second baseman Brian Roberts said he was diagnosed with a small herniated disk in his back about a month ago, but it won't threaten his availability or severely alter his preparation for Opening Day. "I'm on the right track now," he said. "It's going to be a little slow in the beginning, but it shouldn't set me back for April 6." Roberts never had kidney stones, but he was treated for them initially because the symptoms were the same. Once a week passed, but not a stone, Roberts...
Continue reading

Roberts: "I think this is the closest we've been"

Roberts: "I think this is the closest we've been"
And he doesn't mean a crowded trainers room. That was the old stadium. Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts is referring to the team's upgraded roster and the expectations for a much-improved season. "I think we're all excited," he said earlier today. "I think this is the closest we've been, probably since I've been here. When you just look talent-wise, I think this is the most capable we've been in a long time, with a combination of young and old. Hopefully, I'm not old. Older....
Continue reading

The first full-squad workout

The first full-squad workout
Players won't take the field today until noon because of physicals and team meetings, which means I don't have to set the alarm and crawl out of bed at the usual hour. So why am I awake? It never fails. When I don't have to get up early, I can't fall back asleep. It must be the anticipation of watching more pitchers fielding practice. Actually, today will be more interesting because it's the first full-squad workout. We'll finally get to see Miguel Tejada at third base, and at his...
Continue reading

Before taking the field

Before taking the field
Miguel Tejada is in camp. Let the celebration begin. Tejada wasn't required to report at a specific time yesterday. Some players will drop off their belongings at night or simply call a team official and say, "I'm here." It wasn't a big deal, though I suggested that he would have made a better impression by arriving a few days early as one of the veteran leaders and taking ground balls at third base. Players have started to joke with Kevin Millwood about the constant flow of interviews...
Continue reading