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Showalter time

BRADENTON, Fla. - With the wind blowing out to left field today, and lifting up a few houses, manager Buck Showalter had to be pleased with his pitchers. They allowed four runs, the last two on Miles Durham’s homer off Josh Rupe in the bottom of the ninth that produced two unearned runs. Lyle Overbay homered off left-hander Clay Rapada in the fifth inning. “Rapada

Encouraging news on Duchscherer and others

BRADENTON, Fla. - Justin Duchscherer has a lot to learn about being shut down for 48 hours. After playing catch yesterday, Duchscherer threw off flat ground, a flat mound and a half mound this morning in Sarasota. Manager Buck Showalter stayed back to watch before heading to Bradenton for the Orioles’ 6-4 victory over the Pirates. Showalter said that Duchscherer was throwing with “some hops”

Orioles build on lead (updated)

BRADENTON, Fla. - Brendan Harris doubled with the bases loaded to score two runs in the top of the eighth, and Robert Andino followed with a sacrifice fly to increase the Orioles’ lead to 6-2. Does this make you feel any better about the 1979 World Series? What about ‘71? Same here. I’m still bitter. Nolan Reimold has homered and walked three times. He raced

Bergesen: “I felt good today for the first outing” (updated)

BRADENTON, Fla. - Craig Tatum’s infield single produced another run in the sixth inning and increased the Orioles’ lead to 3-1. Matt Angle crashed into the center field fence while running down a long drive in the bottom of the sixth. He collapsed to the ground after making the throw, but he stayed in the game. Koji Uehara ran the count full to the leadoff

Two scoreless for Drese (updated)

BRADENTON, Fla. - Ryan Drese retired all six batters he faced today, getting four ground balls, a fly ball and a called third strike. All three outs in the third inning came on grounders to shortstop J.J. Hardy. Andrew McCutchen almost beat out a grounder in the fourth. Cesar Izturis bobbled the ball and took his time making the throw to first. McCutchen can fly.

Reimold goes deep (updated)

BRADENTON, Fla. - Nolan Reimold just gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead over the Pirates with a long home run leading off the second inning. Reimold crushed a 1-0 pitch from left-hander Paul Maholm. There’s a strong wind blowing out to left, but Reimold didn’t need much help with that one. The Orioles hit three homers in yesterday’s intrasquad game, though those stats aren’t official.

Guerrero legs out another one (updated)

BRADENTON, Fla. - Former Pirates manager John Russell was announced as the third base coach, bringing a huge outbreak of indifference. You could have heard a pin drop - much like the crowd’s reaction at every joke from last night’s Oscar telecast. No applause for Russell, no jeers, nothing but absolute silence. So much for a warm homecoming. J.J. Hardy struck out looking to begin

Pirates lineup

BRADENTON, Fla. - For the Pirates: Jose Tabata LF Josh Rodriguez SS Andrew McCutchen CF Pedro Alvarez 3B Lyle Overbay 1B Garrett Jones RF Ryan Doumit DH Chase d’Arnaud 2B Jason Jaramillo C Paul Maholm LHP Jeff Karstens, Tyler Yates, Jeff Locke and Mike Crotta also are scheduled to pitch for the Pirates. The Pirates have two split-squad games, and former Oriole Garrett Atkins is

Today’s lineup vs. Pirates (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - For the Orioles: J.J. Hardy SS Felix Pie RF Mark Reynolds 3B Vladimir Guerrero DH Adam Jones CF Nolan Reimold LF Brandon Snyder 1B Craig Tatum C Cesar Izturis 2B Brad Bergesen RHP Other pitchers on the trip include Ryan Drese, Koji Uehara, Kevin Gregg and Jeremy Accardo. Joe Mahoney isn’t making the trip after fouling a ball off his right knee

Updating Mahoney and more

SARASOTA, Fla. - First baseman Joe Mahoney received treatment after taking a foul ball off his right knee, and he’ll be re-evaluated tomorrow morning before the club decides whether to send him to Bradenton for the exhibition opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mahoney had a slight limp as he returned to his locker following his team’s 7-4 intrasquad victory. “Missed the knee cap, though” Mahoney

Mahoney limps off field (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - First baseman Joe Mahoney fouled a ball off his right knee in the top of the sixth inning and limped to the clubhouse. Mahoney, named the organization’s minor league Player of the Year in 2010, took a few steps up the first base line and bent at the waist. Head athletic trainer Richie Bancells and manager Buck Showalter came out of the

Jones also goes deep

SARASOTA, Fla. - Adam Jones is the latest Oriole to clear the 366-foot sign in left-center field, connecting off Rule 5 pick Adrian Rosario in the bottom of the fourth inning. Jones, Mark Reynolds and Randy Winn have homered today. Reynolds flied to the fence in his second at-bat before Jones stepped to the plate. Rosario knocked Cesar Izturis to the ground with an inside

Reynolds clears bases with one swing (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Third baseman Mark Reynolds hit a grand slam off minor league pitcher Chorye Spoone in the bottom of the first inning of today’s intrasquad game. Spoone walked the first two batters he faced and threw a wild pitch, and Vladimir Guerrero reached on an infield hit to load the bases after Luke Scott flied out. Shortstop Pedro Florimon ranged far to his

A few pre-intrasquad notes

SARASOTA, Fla. - Derrek Lee looked impressive in the cage today during the club’s first batting practice session inside Ed Smith Stadium. He won’t play in the intrasquad game, but he took some of the most significant swings of the day. “He’s getting a little more comfortable turning it loose,” manager Buck Showalter said. Lee’s surgically-repaired thumb doesn’t restrict his throwing. He’s been active in

Duchscherer says no discomfort throwing (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Justin Duchscherer says he threw from 90 feet today without any discomfort in his hip. He’s taking medication to reduce the inflammation. Duchscherer won’t make Wednesday’s start in Clearwater, but at least he sounded encouraged. “We’ll treat it symptomatically,” he said. “Hopefully, it’s just inflammation.” Duchscherer will be re-evaluated tomorrow. He was told yesterday to rest for 48 hours. I’ll pass along

Today’s lineups

SARASOTA, Fla. - We’re only talking intrasquad here, but it’s still a game and it still comes with lineups. Enjoy. Team 1: Matt Angle RF Randy Winn DH Felix Pie CF Nolan Reimold LF Josh Bell 3B Joe Mahoney 1B Ryan Adams 2B Craig Tatum C Pedro Florimon SS Chorye Spoone RHP Team 2: Cesar Izturis 2B Nick Markakis RF Luke Scott LF Vladimir Guerrero

Duchscherer: “I’m concerned”

Justin Duchscherer will attempt to play catch today while dealing with soreness in his left hip that could prevent him from making Wednesday’s exhibition start against the Phillies in Clearwater. Duchscherer has undergone three hip surgeries, the most recent on his left side on June 7. He skipped yesterday’s workout and received treatment. “I feel OK,” he said. “I threw my BP session the other

Duchscherer’s start in question

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles are making contingency plans in case Justin Duchscherer is unable to start Wednesday’s exhibition game against the Phillies in Clearwater. Duchscherer is being shut down for 48 hours while dealing with a sore hip. The Orioles will re-evaluate him before determining his status for Wednesday. “We’ll see what the next step is where he’s concerned,” manager Buck Showalter said. “There

A few updates and observations

SARASOTA, Fla. - Justin Duchscherer is in the clubhouse, but he’s not throwing or talking. Derrek Lee is in uniform, but he’s not hitting. Brian Roberts took ground balls at second base and moved to a batting cage for situational hitting. He swung from both sides of the plate without any restrictions against Double-A Bowie pitching coach Kennie Steenstra. There’s a piece of good news.

Duchscherer dealing with hip soreness (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Justin Duchscherer isn’t on the field today, and president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail confirmed that the pitcher is dealing with some hip soreness. Add Brian Roberts, lose Duchscherer. Not the kind of break-even day the Orioles wanted. Duchscherer will take off the next 48 hours and be re-evaluated. He’s been told to rest and receive treatment. “We’ll just have to see

Roberts is on the field (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Second baseman Brian Roberts has taken the field for the pre-workout stretch. He’s also expected to participate in infield drills. Roberts had to get the approval of the athletic training staff. He stated yesterday that it’s been a “group effort” when determining whether he could work out. Roberts spent the last three days getting treatment for a stiff neck. He hasn’t been

Izturis making short to second look simple

SARASOTA, Fla. - It appears that Twitter has taken the morning off. I haven’t been able to access it or post an update in more than an hour. So much for following me at @MASNroch. It’s probably just as well. I’ve been known to stop short. The Orioles put a ping pong table in the middle of the clubhouse, which proves that manager Buck Showalter

Lee not hitting today (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles first baseman Derrek Lee won’t take batting practice today after hitting outdoors for the first time yesterday afternoon. Lee said his surgically repaired right thumb is “a little bit tender.” “Probably as expected, since it was the first time I hit on the field,” he said. Lee plans to take BP tomorrow. “Overly cautious,” he said. “I was hoping I would

More notes and quotes from today’s workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - I can’t close out the day without letting manager Buck Showalter say a few words. Showalter noted that second baseman Brian Roberts’ neck showed some improvement again today. “Better than yesterday, and the other day was better than that,” Showalter said. “We’ll see what tomorrow brings.” Showalter confirmed that no further tests are scheduled for Roberts. X-rays came back negative. He’s apparently

More Roberts, more Lee

SARASOTA, Fla. - No sense ignoring Brian Roberts in this entry. He’s been a constant presence, though Derrek Lee provided a slight distraction earlier today. Roberts said his neck is “getting better every day.” He received more treatment today to alleviate the soreness and also rode a stationary bike. “It’s definitely better than it was a couple days ago,” he said. “It’s the time of

Quick hits from workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - I’ll plug in more quotes later, but here are some short items from today’s workout: Brian Roberts said his neck feels better every day. He also said he could play if it were the regular season. “It’s definitely better than it was a couple days ago,” he said. Asked if he might work out tomorrow, Roberts said, “I don’t try to guess

Roberts sits for third straight day (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Brian Roberts didn’t take the field for the pre-workout stretch and catch, and he was absent during infield drills. Roberts continues to receive treatment on his neck. He told reporters yesterday that he hoped to get back on the field today or tomorrow. Looks like today is out. Cesar Izturis and Brendan Harris took grounders at second. Izturis looks every bit as

Riske getting down to business

SARASOTA, Fla. - One of Alfredo Simon’s representatives sent out a text last night alerting reporters that there could be a positive development today in the reliever’s case. Simon remains jailed in the Dominican Republic, and he was denied bail again yesterday. It’s the never-ending story. Justin Duchscherer noted yesterday that his curveball was much better during his live BP session. One reason: Duchscherer is

Lee hitting outdoors today

SARASOTA, Fla. - Derrek Lee will take batting practice off one of the coaches later this morning, after the Orioles hold another series of meetings that caused the clubhouse to close to the media 30 minutes earlier than usual. Lee has been hitting soft tosses in the indoor cage. He’s also stepped to the plate during live batting practice with instructions to not swing the

More on Frank Robinson’s speech

SARASOTA, Fla. - According to this report, Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon remains in police custody in the Dominican Republic after he was again denied bail today. Frank Robinson stood underneath his No. 20 that’s mounted on Hall of Fame row in the clubhouse and addressed the team before today’s workout. “He obviously can command a room,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s been in front of

A few quick hits

SARASOTA, Fla. - Before I dash across the street to pick up lunch, I wanted to pass along a few short items. Manager Buck Showalter described second baseman Brian Roberts as being 50 percent improved. Showalter seems fairly confident that Roberts will be back on the field tomorrow morning. “You could tell he felt a lot better today,” Showalter said. Roberts wasn’t going to play

A few observations from camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - With Brian Roberts unable to work out again today, Cesar Izturis and Brendan Harris took ground balls at second base. J.J. Hardy and Nick Green took turns at shortstop. Derrek Lee and Jake Fox played first base. Mark Reynolds stood alone at third. Robert Andino worked out at shortstop on another field. Reynolds had one bad sequence where he mishandled a chopper

Scene and heard at Ed Smith Stadium

SARASOTA, Fla. - Scene from the clubhouse this morning: Terry Crowley talking hitting while standing with Vladimir Guerrero and Felix Pie. Another scene: Mark Reynolds, Luke Scott and Nolan Reimold sitting at Brady Anderson’s locker after the former Orioles outfielder finished working out. A scene that took place behind closed doors, so I didn’t actually witness it: Hall of Famer Frank Robinson talking to the

Roberts taking another day off

SARASOTA, Fla. - Brian Roberts said his neck is feeling better, but he’ll get more treatments today and bypass the workout. Roberts is hoping to take the field again tomorrow or Saturday. X-rays taken on Roberts’ neck yesterday were negative. “I’m just trying to get it calmed down,” he said. Former Orioles David Segui and Paul Bako are in camp today. Vladimir Guerrero still has

Post-workout notes

SARASOTA, Fla. - Rick VandenHurk will follow Jeremy Guthrie to the mound in the second exhibition game. Left-hander Zach Britton will replace Justin Duchscherer in the third game. Manager Buck Showalter doesn’t seem overly concerned about second baseman Brian Roberts’ neck. “Muscle spasm. Nothing other than that. Trapezius. Is that right? Day-to-day,” Showalter said. “They didn’t see any disk issues or anything. It is what

Roberts downplays neck issue

SARASOTA, Fla. - It appears that Brian Roberts is fine and only dealing with some stiffness in his neck after leaving camp this morning and undergoing X-rays. Roberts will continue to receive treatment. He’s unsure whether he’ll return to the field tomorrow, which makes him day-to-day. “Just a stiff neck,” he said, downplaying the situation when approached by reporters. “We’ve probably all had a stiff

Lee could take BP Friday (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - First baseman Derrek Lee is hoping to take batting practice on the field Friday after being restricted to hitting soft tosses in the cage during the first days of the full-squad workouts. Lee, three months removed from surgery to repair a torn ligament in his thumb, won’t take BP with the team. The veteran will take his swings against one of the

Pitchers added to early exhibition games

SARASOTA, Fla. - Left-hander Zach Britton and right-hander Rick VandenHurk also will make appearances during the first week of the exhibition schedule. Jeremy Guthrie will start the March 1 home opener against the Rays, and Justin Duchscherer will start the following day against the Phillies in Clearwater. Britton will pitch in one of those games, with VandenHurk taking the mound in the other. Brad Bergesen

Roberts leaves camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - I just arrived in the workroom to find out that Brian Roberts isn’t working out today. He left camp with a sore neck. Roberts might need X-rays. That’s all we really know at the moment. But since he exited the facility, it makes sense that he’d be going for X-rays. At least it’s not his back, though I only play a doctor

Comparing Connor to Kranitz

SARASOTA, Fla. - So did I hear correctly that the Gino Giant is coming back to Baltimore? Best burger around when I was a kid. The clubhouse is closed to the media for the second time in three mornings. On Monday, it was due to physicals and dental and vision exams. Today, our access is limited because of team meetings, including one with umpires. I’ve

Scott back in outfield of dreams

SARASOTA, Fla. - Want to get under Luke Scott’s skin? Are you nuts? It’s probably not a good idea, but here’s one suggestion if you’re in that sort of devious and daring mood: Suggest that he’s only suited to be a designated hitter. Then run, do not walk, to the nearest exit. That’s been Scott’s primary role with the Orioles, but he’s projected to be

One time through the rotation

SARASOTA, Fla. - You already know that Brad Bergesen and Chris Tillman are pitching in the first exhibition game on Feb. 28 versus the Pirates in Bradenton. Here’s what you didn’t know until today: Jeremy Guthrie is starting the March 1 home exhibition game against Tampa Bay. Justin Duchscherer will start March 2 against the Phillies in Clearwater. Brian Matusz and Rule 5 pick Adrian

Guerrero and Scott take their cuts

SARASOTA, Fla. - Minor league catching instructor Don Werner threw batting practice on the Camden Yards back field this morning. He actually turned and watched one of Vladimir Guerrero’s fly balls clear the left field fence, and the young boy standing behind it. It was that impressive. Guerrero and Luke Scott drove the ball to the opposite field during their first rounds of BP. Then

A few notes before today’s workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - Sorry to hear about the snow last night. If it makes you feel any better, the automated phone call from Carroll County Public Schools woke me up at 6 a.m. Snippets of the motivational video that manager Buck Showalter presented to his team Sunday night will be shown between innings at Camden Yards throughout the season. There are no plans to make

Simon could be released from jail this week

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon could be released from a Dominican jail this week, perhaps as early as Wednesday, according to his representatives. Simon has been detained for 49 days following the shooting death of his cousin on New Year’s Eve in the town of Luperon. Another man was injured during the celebration. Phil Isaac of the Para Sports Group said a ballistics

Showalter updates Lee and more

SARASOTA, Fla. - Derrek Lee took ground balls at first base this morning, but most of his work was done before taking the field for the first full-squad workout. He continues to hit soft tosses in the cage. “After talking to him, everything’s progressing right on schedule. In fact, he’s ahead of schedule,” manager Buck Showalter said. Lee underwent surgery in November to repair a

Showalter names starter for first exhibition game

SARASOTA, Fla. - Don’t read too much into it, but manager Buck Showalter has chosen Brad Bergesen to start the first exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Feb. 28 in Bradenton. Chris Tillman will follow Bergesen to the mound. They’ll each go two or three innings. Showalter will mostly use his relievers for the intrasquad game that will be played the previous day at

Two thumbs up for Showalter’s film

SARASOTA, Fla. - The reviews keep pouring in, and it’s apparent that manager Buck Showalter’s inspirational film is a huge hit with his players. Showalter took his team to a local movie theater last night after everyone gathered at Ed Smith Stadium for a pre-workout meeting. They were treated to a short video that included highlights of past and present players, and a sold-out Camden

A few more observations

SARASOTA, Fla. - Derrek Lee still has soft hands around first base, fielding the ball cleanly and effortlessly. We’ll evaluate his range once the games begin. Lee and Jake Fox took grounders at first and worked on executing the 3-6-3 double play. Mark Reynolds and Brendan Harris took grounders at third, J.J. Hardy and Nick Green at shortstop and Brian Roberts and Cesar Izturis at

The first hour

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles took the field to stretch around 11:40 a.m. They paired up to play catch and currently are participating in fielding drills. Bobby Dickerson was hitting fly balls to Luke Scott and Randy Winn in left field. Scott showed off an accurate arm. Vladimir Guerrero spent the first part of the workout kneeling beside Rudy Arias after doing some long tossing.

All present and accounted for

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nick Markakis reported to camp yesterday afternoon, and Pedro Florimon finally arrived to complete the spring training roster. Last but not least... The only no-show is pitcher Alfredo Simon, and he was already marked absent and placed on the restricted list. The first full-squad workout begins around noon, though manager Buck Showalter indicated yesterday that players will be eased into activities today

Adams trying to fix defensive reputation

SARASOTA, Fla. - Just a reminder that the clubhouse is closed to the media this morning while the Orioles conduct physicals, and dental and vision exams. They’re expected to take the field around noon for the first full-squad workout. Perhaps Vladimir Guerrero will step into the cage and take batting practice in full view of his teammates, fans and the media. And I can provide

A few parting shots from camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - I wanted to pass along a few more items before I pack up my laptop and head out of here. Manager Buck Showalter is still leaning toward batting Derrek Lee third and Vladimir Guerrero fourth. It isn’t written in ink, but that’s the assumed order. And that’s fine with both of them. Lee continues to hit soft tosses in the indoor cage.

Updates on Lebron and Atkins

SARASOTA, Fla. -The Orioles will modify pitcher Luis Lebron’s throwing program by keeping him on flat ground, rather than having him participate in the usual bullpen sessions. Lebron underwent ligament-reconstructive surgery on his right elbow in May, and manager Buck Showalter wants to make sure he doesn’t push himself while attempting to keep up with the other pitchers in camp. Lebron has thrown two sides

Finishing up another workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - Most of the pitchers have come off the field and are in the weight room or eating lunch at their lockers. A group of position players are taking batting practice on the back fields. Luke Scott has trimmed his beard. He’ll have to shave it off tomorrow morning. Vladimir Guerrero is still sporting his goatee. We’ll see whether he shaves it off

Hardy not resting on his laurels

SARASOTA, Fla. - It’s a slow day at camp, with positions players not required to be here until 6 p.m. and pitchers not throwing off a mound. I’ve been reduced to coming up with titles that really have nothing to do with this entry, though I reference shortstop J.J. Hardy if you continue reading. Nick Markakis and Pedro Florimon are the only players who haven’t

The Showalter must go on

SARASOTA, Fla. - We’ve wrapped up another workout day here in sunny Sarasota, where the back of your neck becomes hot enough to fry bacon. Right fielder Nick Markakis hasn’t reported to camp, but he’s in town. Nothing to worry about. Minor league infielder Pedro Florimon is the only real no-show. If you’ve seen him, please point him in the general direction of Ed Smith

Lee: “I think we’re going to have a good year”

SARASOTA, Fla. - First baseman Derrek Lee reported to camp today and hit some soft tosses in the indoor cage. He’ll be ready to face live pitching in a week or so as he continues to recover from thumb surgery. “It’s getting much better,” he said. “I’m up to soft toss now, which is actually ahead of schedule.” Lee signed a one-year, $7.5 million deal

Pie gearing for left field competition

SARASOTA, Fla. - Derrek Lee hit in the indoor cage today. Felix Pie played catch this morning with new teammate Vladimir Guerrero, the future Hall of Famer who could cost him the starting job in left field. No hard feelings, I suppose. Luke Scott is expected to play left field while Guerrero serves as the full-time designated hitter. Pie, who set career highs last year

A new and improved Reimold?

SARASOTA, Fla. - Derrek Lee has reported to camp. He might wait until tomorrow to take his first swings. The signing of Vladimir Guerrero could push Nolan Reimold off the 25-man roster and down to Triple-A Norfolk, but he’s digging in his heels this spring. He’s reported to camp in much better condition, both physically and mentally, and intends to pose a serious challenge for

Scenes from a spring training clubhouse

SARASOTA, Fla. - Luke Scott has reported to camp, wearing a full beard and telling hunting stories. Scott’s locker is next to Vladimir Guerrero, the brooding slugger. It’s an interesting arrangement. Guerrero better get used to smiling and nodding his head a lot. Double-A infielder Ryan Adams also is here, leaving Derrek Lee, Nick Markakis and Pedro Florimon as the only position players who haven’t

Guerrero speaks

SARASOTA, Fla. - Vladimir Guerrero relied on his agent, Fernando Cuza, to serve as an interpreter during his 20-minute press conference, but I’m sure he understood every word. He’s been speaking English to teammates and team officials. He’s just more comfortable dealing with the media in his native language. Here are some comments from Guerrero, which came after he slipped on his white No. 27

Guerrero signed, sealed and delivered

SARASOTA, Fla. - Vladimir Guerrero wore his game face for most of his 20-minute press conference. He smiled once when asked whether he’s carrying a chip on his shoulder, and laughed when the discussion turned to his reputation as one of the game’s all-time best bad-ball hitters. Guerrero didn’t need a translator to understand that question. “Since I was little, I’ve always swung at bad

Matusz pleased with latest side session

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nolan Reimold reported to camp this afternoon. We’re still waiting on Derrek Lee, Luke Scott, Nick Markakis, Ryan Adams and Pedro Florimon. Position players are required to be here on Sunday. Pitcher Mitch Atkins is still dealing with a sore left oblique muscle. Starter Brad Bergesen went back to his hotel with virus-like symptoms. Brian Matusz threw off a mound for the

Quick Guerrero update

SARASOTA, Fla. - Vladimir Guerrero played catch with Felix Pie on one of the back fields this morning and headed to the indoor cage to hit some balls off a tee. Guerrero apparently will not hit outdoors today. Also, for everyone who’s obsessed with seeing Guerrero in his Orioles’ uniform, he wore a black shirt and shorts on the field. No uniform. And keep in

Izturis a familiar face in new role

SARASOTA, Fla. - Clubhouse manager Fred Tyler spent part of his morning sorting through batting helmets, trying to find one that fit Vladimir Guerrero’s head. Cesar Izturis, Felix Pie, Nick Green and Randy Winn reported to camp this morning, and Nick Markakis is expected to arrive later today. They’ll also need helmets, but it won’t be as interesting to watch. Everything that Guerrero does draws

Guerrero official, Simon removed from 40-man roster

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. today at the Ed Smith Stadium complex to introduce Vladimir Guerrero, who passed his physical and signed a one-year, $8 million deal. As expected, the Orioles moved Alfredo Simon to the restricted list to make room for the nine-time All-Star, who will serve as the cleanup hitter and regular designated hitter. Guerrero

Leftovers from today’s workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - Craig Tatum knows what it’s like to arrive in camp with expectations for him that are lower than the contents of Miguel Cabrera’s scotch bottle. Tatum wasn’t supposed to beat out Chad Moeller last spring for the backup job behind starting catcher Matt Wieters, but he did it. And that explains why Tatum hasn’t grown too comfortable despite being the incumbent. Tatum’s

Showalter talks about Wieters

SARASOTA, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter had some flattering observations about catcher Matt Wieters, who seems to be everybody’s choice to have a breakout season. “You can just tell by his face a little bit, Matt takes everything personal with the pitching staff,” Showalter said. “Everybody I’ve talked to, and I’ve talked to a lot of people who have had him, whether it’s minor league

Quick hits from workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - Pitcher Mitch Atkins is dealing with a strained left oblique, and Rule 5 pick Adrian Rosario was sent home again today with a slight fever. Luis Lebron threw another bullpen session today, and his pitches were much crisper. Manager Buck Showalter also noted that Lebron walked off the mound with a smile on his face. Vladimir Guerrero isn’t likely to play the

A few morning notes

SARASOTA, Fla. - Vladimir Guerrero is sitting at his locker this morning. The results of his physical could be obtained later today, but he’s still scheduled to be introduced to the media tomorrow. In the meantime, he’ll hit the weights and enjoy the rest of his day. It’s an abbreviated workout today. Manager Buck Showalter and a group of players are participating in Jim Johnson’s

Andino here and ready to compete

SARASOTA, Fla. - Robert Andino is taking his physical this morning and throwing his hat into the utility ring. With Cesar Izturis assured of making the club as the backup middle infielder, Andino will try to win a job as a reserve at the corners. He’s never played first base, and his six career starts at third base came last season. “Just catch the ball,”

Guthrie’s second side session another success

SARASOTA, Fla. - What makes a good bullpen session? As a friend and former colleague pointed out, it’s whenever the catcher walks up to the pitcher afterward and shakes his hand. No injury, no problem. Jeremy Guthrie completed his second session here in Sarasota without a hitch or a glitch. He mixed in a fastball, curveball and changeup, and Jake Fox shook his hand in

Bell not assured of trip to Norfolk

SARASOTA, Fla. - Pitchers Justin Duchscherer and Adrian Rosario were sent back to their condo and hotel, respectively, because they’re dealing with virus symptoms. They weren’t scheduled to throw today, so at least they exhibited good timing. Manager Buck Showalter included Josh Bell among the players who are competing for a utility spot. Mark Reynolds is the starting third baseman, which seems to indicate that

Reynolds’ BP session is a wrap

SARASOTA, Fla. - Mark Reynolds put on quite a display on one of the back fields this afternoon, hitting tape-measure home runs each time he stepped into the cage. He launched a few balls to center field. He bounced a few more into the parking lot beyond the left field fence. And he lowered the temperature around the cage by five or six degrees each

Snyder dishing on his new/old role

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles drafted Brandon Snyder as a catcher back in 2005, making him the 13th overall pick. They moved him to third base and first base, leading to the assumption that he’d never again wear shin guards and a chest protector, though some of those hops can be pretty nasty. Snyder is still viewed by team officials as a first baseman, but

New teammates talk about Guerrero

SARASOTA, Fla. - Vladimir Guerrero will officially become an Oriole once he passes his physical and signs his contract. He already turned plenty of heads when he arrived this morning, accompanied by agent Fernando Cuza, his cousin and a friend. The cousin was wearing a bright pink T-shirt and skin-tight jeans. He bears enough of a resemblance to Guerrero, including the facial hair, that I

Guerrero ready to take physical

SARASOTA, Fla. - Vladimir Guerrero has arrived at camp and is preparing to take his physical. Guerrero showed up wearing a black T-shirt and jeans. He’s also sporting a thick goatee. We’ll see if the facial hair policy applies to him. Guerrero’s agent, Fernando Cuza, also is here and will serve as an interpreter when Guerrero is introduced to the media. We’re expecting a press

Showalter talks about VandenHurk, J.J., Gonzo and more

SARASOTA, Fla. - New pitching coach Mark Connor interrupted Rick VandenHurk’s bullpen session today and slid the rosin bag underneath the pitcher’s right heel. I’ll admit, that was a first for me. I hadn’t seen a pitching coach use this technique, though it’s probably been done. “Just putting myself in a better position,” VandenHurk said. “I had a little too much weight on my heel

More on Duchscherer’s bullpen session

SARASOTA, Fla. - Justin Duchscherer is probably ahead of most, if not all, of the pitchers in camp after throwing for scouts during the winter. He’s definitely ahead of himself in previous springs. “Usually, I’d come to spring training having thrown maybe one or two bullpens to save my bullets, but this season was a little different,” he said. “I had to get ready to

A few notes off today’s workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - I’ll file quotes later today, but I wanted to pass along a few nuggets from today’s workout. First baseman Brandon Snyder reported to camp. Luis Lebron, who underwent ligament-reconstructive surgery on his right elbow in May, threw off a mound for the first time today. Justin Duchscherer threw all four of his pitches among the 40 that were unleashed in his session.

Fox on the run

SARASOTA, Fla. - Infielder Brendan Harris and minor league outfielder Matt Angle are here today. Add them to the list of early arrivals, which also includes first baseman Joe Mahoney. Mahoney, the Orioles’ minor league player of the year, had a long chat with Harris this morning. I assumed that they knew each other, though I couldn’t figure out how, but they just met. Chris

Leftovers from today’s first workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - I wanted to dump out the rest of my spring training bag for today. I’ll also let you know that tomorrow’s workout is slated to begin around 10 a.m., two hours earlier than today. The crowd was pretty small. I’d say it was a modest gathering. But word on the street is that parking was limited because of the construction vehicles. Try

The first workout has ended

SARASOTA, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter is pleased with how smoothly today’s workout ran. No injuries that he’s aware of, no reason to be alarmed in any way. “We got through it,” he said. “I haven’t talked to the trainers and coaches yet, but so far, so good. We got most everybody here with the exception of (Alfredo) Simon, obviously. No red flags yet health-wise.

A few workout notes

SARASOTA, Fla. - I tore myself away from the back fields to pass along a few notes from the workout, which began at noon and is expected to run until 3 p.m.. Minor league catcher Caleb Joseph beat the other players onto the field for the pre-workout stretch, but Matt Wieters was close behind him. Twenty-nine of the 30 pitchers are in camp today, the

MASN to broadcast five Orioles exhibition games

SARASOTA, Fla. - As I wait for the pitchers and catchers to complete their physicals and head to the backfields for the first workout, I’ll pass along the five exhibition games that will air on MASN: Monday, March 7 at 7 p.m., New York Yankees vs. Orioles Monday, March 14 at 1 p.m., Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Orioles Tuesday, March 15 at 1 p.m., Houston Astros

Waiting for the first workout (with radio schedule)

SARASOTA, Fla. - I woke up to a bunch of spam comments on the blog, most of them from senders claiming to have squirrels in their pants. Is that really how my day is starting? Anyway, pitchers and catchers are taking their physicals this morning and the clubhouse is closed to the media. They’ll immediately head to the back fields for workouts, so access will

Gonzalez ready to get going

SARASOTA, Fla. - Michael Gonzalez was a health riddle last spring, insisting that his left shoulder felt fine while everyone noticed his diminished velocity and spotty location. He blew two of his first three save chances and went on the disabled list April 14 with a strained shoulder. He wasn’t reinstated until July 21. Gonzalez posted a 1.76 ERA in his first 18 appearances after

Talking renovations and Tillman

SARASOTA, Fla. - I took an extensive walk through Ed Smith Stadium, where the construction will continue right up to the home opener on March 1. Most of the work should be completed by Feb. 21. Construction beyond the left field fence, including an elevated picnic perch that fans are going to love, will take a little longer. The lawsuit delayed construction, but it also

Notes on Patton, Accardo and Drese

SARASOTA, Fla. - Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman just arrived together at 12:16 p.m. Troy Patton isn’t allowed to speak with the media regarding his DWI arrest in Houston last month. He politely declined to comment before leaving the clubhouse, but he’s clearly embarrassed by the incident. Patton may not have to leave the team for a court hearing later this month. There’s a chance

More scenes from Sarasota

SARASOTA, Fla. - Koji Uehara just played catch outdoors. So far, so good. Third baseman Mark Reynolds has reported with the pitchers and catchers. Looks like he’s eager to get started. Reynolds is working out today and will take his 2-year-old daughter to Disney the next two days. I told him to enjoy these precious moments while he can, since my little angel turns 18

The start of spring training (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - I can say that spring training has officially started because my rental car is parked at Ed Smith Stadium and I’ve already walked through the clubhouse once this morning. I saw a bunch of empty lockers. I also saw a huge crane outside the stadium as the renovations continue at the complex. The finishing touches are being applied to the back fields,

More on Vladimir Guerrero’s physical

It’s become more apparent that Vladimir Guerrero isn’t in a hurry to do anything this winter. Sign with a new team. Take his physical. The man works at his own deliberate pace. Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail was on my AirTran flight to Sarasota today, and he informed me that Guerrero’s physical is now scheduled for Wednesday. Guerrero’s been dealing with some scheduling

Keeping a close watch on Koji Uehara

My bags are packed and I’m ready for the airport. But is the airport ready for me? I’m trying to tear myself away from my 800th viewing of “Cobra” on Spike TV, easily one of the worst movies ever made. Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen. I know, I know ... how could they possibly mess up that one? Stallone utters one of my all-time favorite

Funeral arrangements for Ernie Tyler

The Orioles just released details of the funeral arrangements for longtime umpires attendant Ernie Tyler, who passed away last night. A viewing will be held Sunday and Monday from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. and 7 p.m.-9 p.m. at Evan’s Funeral Chapel, 3 Newport Dr., Forest Hill, Md. 21050. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at Saints Ignatius Roman Catholic Church, 533

Ripken statement on Ernie Tyler’s passing

Baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. was deeply saddened by the news that longtime umpires attendant Ernie Tyler passed away last night at age 86. Ripken released a statement today that read: “Today, Baltimore lost a very special man in Ernie Tyler. The Tyler family is synonymous with Orioles baseball, and O’s games won’t be the same without Ernie. His commitment and dedication to the Orioles

Orioles reach agreement with Guthrie (quotes added)

The Orioles have reached agreement with Jeremy Guthrie on a contract for the 2011 season, assuring that they won’t go to arbitration with any of their eligible players. Guthrie will receive $5.75 million this season. He was seeking $6.5 million, while the Orioles countered at $5 million. His hearing was scheduled for Wednesday in Phoenix, but it’s no longer necessary. Guthrie, who made $3 million

Ernie Tyler, O’s Hall of Famer, passes away (with statement)

Sadly, the rumor is true. Ernie Tyler, the longtime and beloved umpires attendant at Camden Yards, passed away last night at age 86. An Orioles official confirmed the news. Tyler had undergone surgery Oct. 6 at University of Maryland Medical Center to remove a benign brain tumor after experiencing dizziness four days earlier at Camden Yards. He was transferred to a rehabilitation facility in early

This and that

One more day in Maryland and I’m heading south for part of the winter. If another person asks when I leave for “spring break,” I’m going to launch myself and deliver a helmet-to-helmet hit. I won’t be shotgunning beers poolside on MTV and judging wet T-shirt contests (at least not during the week.) It actually qualifies as work. I looked it up. On the positive

Scott talks about his contract agreement

I just spoke to Luke Scott over the phone from the parking lot of an Eldersburg grocery store. As always, timing is everything. It’s really not safe for me to leave the house. I do appreciate that Scott took the time to call me back. He was at a gym in California when I texted him earlier today about agreeing to terms on a contract

Orioles avoid arbitration with Scott (updated)

Once again, the Orioles have managed to reach agreement on a contract with an arbitration-eligible player and avoid the potentially messy process. Luke Scott, expected to be the regular left fielder, has agreed to terms on a 2011 deal, according to a team official. The Sun is reporting that Scott will be paid $6.4 million. He asked for $6.85 million and the Orioles countered at

Picking a dark horse in Sarasota

I could attempt to cheat and wait until I get to spring training, watch a few workouts and talk to the manager before choosing my dark horse for 2011. Or I could do the honorable thing and make my decision today, without benefit of bullpen sessions and batting practice, without the opinions of the people who will construct the 25-man roster, without first having my

Guerrero physical in Sarasota

The Orioles reached agreement with Vladimir Guerrero on a one-year contract Friday night, but he won’t undergo his physical until early next week. No sense rushing these things. I know Guerrero moves slowly these days, but this is ridiculous. OK, I’m spent. The Orioles’ physicians will gather in Sarasota for spring training - the equipment has been shipped down there - so it makes sense

Not many camp competitions looming

It’s another busy day for me as I try to get my life in order before spring training. As if I can do that in one week. I haven’t succeeded over the last 25 years. Why start now? Anyway, I’m getting my taxes done this morning and racing to the warehouse for - wait for it - a Twitter meeting. Yes, I’m going over to

Orioles back on WBAL

The Orioles issued a press release announcing that they’re returning to 1090 AM WBAL Radio after a four-year absence from the station’s airwaves. It’s a multi-year deal, but I’m not sure if it includes incentives. I’m also not sure how many fans really care, but I know there was some curiosity. You’ll tune in wherever you can find the games. Just make sure to switch

A call to young arms

No matter which lineup you’ve chosen for the Orioles, and we kicked around a few more ideas yesterday, it’s important to heed the words of second baseman Brian Roberts that he delivered to reporters at FanFest. They reached our ears long before the Orioles reached agreement with Vladimir Guerrero, but Roberts’ message still rings true. “For us, the biggest key is still going to be

Riske business

You have to like a sports agency that announces when its clients sign a contract. Welcome to the Twitter world. CAA Baseball has tweeted that reliever David Riske agreed to a minor league deal with the Orioles that includes an invitation to spring training. Riske appeared in 23 games with the Brewers last season, compiling a 5.01 ERA before being released in August. He already

Reimold talks about Guerrero signing

I found Nolan Reimold in the usual place this winter, working out with former Orioles outfielder Brady Anderson in California. He’ll stay a little longer before reporting to spring training in Sarasota. Reimold knows the addition of Vladimir Guerrero could have a direct impact on him, “but I guess the full extent of how it impacts me remains to be seen,” he said earlier today

Another look at the lineup

I have another appointment this morning that’s going to occupy a chunk of my time, but I’ll return later with something a little more substantial for the blog. In the meantime, I wanted to revisit my projected Orioles lineup that I filed Friday night after the news broke about Vladimir Guerrero. A reader suggested that Mark Reynolds should bat fifth behind Guerrero and ahead of

A busy winter

Exactly one week from today, I’ll be standing inside the home clubhouse at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota or staking out the parking lot, jotting down the names of pitchers and catchers as they report on the mandatory date. I’ll make note of any position players that show up early. And I’ll wonder again whether I packed enough socks and underwear. Where has the winter

More from Duchscherer

Justin Duchscherer doesn’t know much about the Orioles. He’s the latest guy to register for a crash course. “The last time I pitched against them,” he said, “they had Aubrey Huff.” So it’s been a few years. “I know Jeremy Guthrie,” Duchscherer said during today’s conference call. “I’ve seen him throw. He has a phenomenal arm. And I watched Brian Matusz pitch against us, and

Duchscherer looking forward to fresh start & good health

Justin Duchscherer just proved that he can interview hurt. Duchscherer came down with a bad cold, but he still took questions between coughs in a noon conference call. “I don’t usually sound like a 70-year-old smoker,” he joked. I guess he was a little too enthusiastic after a team physician told him to “turn and cough.” It’s OK to stop now. Duchscherer, who agreed to

Crunching some Guerrero numbers

Good morning to everyone. Many thanks for the kind birthday wishes directed at my lovely daughter. I’m sure she’ll expect more of them on the actual date (She’s a Valentine’s baby, and not the least bit spoiled.) I’ll pass along some Justin Duchscherer quotes later today. You remember him, right? Veteran free-agent pitcher. Sort of a big deal until last night. Looking at some of

A few thoughts on Guerrero

For my daughter’s 18th birthday, I decided to get her Vladimir Guerrero. She really wanted a car. (If I was feeling more clever, I’d come up with a joke that ties together Guerrero and a car. Maybe later.) Actually, my daughter turns 18 on Valentine’s Day, but my family gathered tonight because I’ll be in Sarasota for the big occasion. And naturally, the Orioles decided

Aware of the Guerrero reports

I’m aware of reports that the Orioles reached agreement on a one-year deal with Vladimir Guerrero. My family is having an early birthday dinner for my daughter in Severna Park, but I can feel the blog blowing up from here. I’ll get to your comments later and chime in with my thoughts. In the meantime, no need to alert me. I’ve heard all about it.

Duchscherer passes physical, signing official (updated)

Justin Duchscherer has passed his physical examination, making his one-year contract with the Orioles official. Duchscherer’s signing takes the Orioles’ 40-man roster to its limit. The right-hander is expected to be part of the team’s starting rotation and will report to spring training in Sarasota, Fla., later this month. The Orioles will make Duchscherer available to reporters via a conference call at an undetermined time.

A Winn-win for the Orioles

Since a few of you asked and I always try to please my readers - well, up to a certain point - I’m told the Orioles have had “light discussions only” regarding Oscar Salazar, who was designated for assignment by the Padres. I don’t sense a lot of enthusiasm, but it’s not like the idea was dismissed entirely. You know it’s a slow news day

Orioles announce spring training invites

The Orioles have signed and invited 16 non-roster players to their major league spring training camp. Let’s start with the pitchers: Right-handers Mitch Atkins, Ryan Drese, Armando Gabino, Wynn Pelzer, Raul Rivero and Josh Rupe, and left-handers Mark Hendrickson and Clay Rapada. Position players include catchers Adam Donachie, Michel Hernandez and Caleb Joseph; outfielders Tyler Henson and Randy Winn; and infielders Ryan Adams, Nick Green

Roberts talks about Showalter

One of the biggest curiosities among fans and media is how spring training could change under manager Buck Showalter’s guidance. I’ve never spent seven weeks with him in Florida or Arizona, so I’m not qualified to say. He’s built a reputation as a no-nonsense guy, but it’s not like the other managers hung piñatas on the backstops and used their stopwatches for potato sack races.

Where does Duchscherer fit into the rotation?

I’m running on fumes this morning. I’ll check for more FanFest leftovers later before they go bad like the onion dip that I found in the back of my fridge last week (speaking of fumes). I wanted to address a question regarding new pitcher Justin Duchscherer and the possibility that he could be the Orioles’ opening day starter with a good spring. I don’t think

Nothing new on Vladimir Guerrero

I walked into the gym this afternoon and heard the question. It could have been anywhere. Grocery store, bank, dentist’s waiting room. “Vlad?” It’s been shortened to one word. “Vlad?” I still don’t know whether the Orioles will sign him. I still don’t know whether that $8 million offer from another team actually exists. I still don’t know why he wouldn’t accept it if it’s

Willie Randolph’s new culture club

New bench coach Willie Randolph knows winning. It’s on his resume. So how can a team like the Orioles change a losing culture? Let’s ask him. “It takes individuals, it takes guys who are willing to commit to changing that as a group, as a team,” Randolph said during a break at FanFest. “Changing a culture is not all that tough if you want to

More Fanfest leftovers

Pitcher Justin Duchscherer will take his physical today. I’m still trying to find out whether his school was delayed two hours. I promised some FanFest leftovers a few days ago and got sidetracked by Duchscherer. And if I had a nickel for every time I wrote the phrase “sidetracked by Duchscherer,” I could retire today. New bench coach Willie Randolph was asked whether he reached

More Orioles minor league signings

According to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy, the Orioles have signed three more pitchers to minor league deals. It’s not believed that anyone in the group has been invited to spring training, though the complete camp roster hasn’t been released. The Orioles reached agreement with right-handers Chris Jakubauskas and Mark Worrell, and left-hander James Houser. This is what you call minor league pitching depth. Houser, a

Simon denied bail, will remain in prison

According to an Associated Press report in the Dominican Republic, Orioles pitcher Alfredo Simon has been denied bail and will remain in prison following the shooting death of his cousin. Here’s the story. Defense attorney Dinosa Dilone plans to appeal Tuesday’s ruling, according to the report. Simon is accused of firing a shot on New Year’s Eve that killed 25-year-old Michel Castillo and injured his

A clearer view of the 25-man roster

Now that the Orioles have reached agreement on a one-year deal with pitcher Justin Duchscherer and a minor league deal with left-hander Mark Hendrickson, the 25-man roster comes a little more into focus. However, there are still some fuzzy patches. It’s sort of like looking at the flash on a camera. I’m still seeing spots. The 12-man pitching staff is much clearer. Though it isn’t

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