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Showalter speaks after 7-1 loss

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Xavier Avery’s sacrifice fly in the ninth inning scored Chris Dickerson, who walked and moved up on Ryan Flaherty’s single. No win today, but no shutout. The Orioles lost to the Minnesota Twins 7-1 to ruin their bid for a perfect Grapefruit League season. Jair Jurrjens told reporters that he’s still having issues with his timing and mechanics. Does manager Buck

Jurrjens struggles through one inning (O’s down 7-0)

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Jair Jurrjens had an abbreviated outing today at Hammond Stadium. Jurrjens lasted only one inning, walking three batters and throwing 34 pitches before recording the final out. He gave up three runs and two hits - both doubles - and only 13 of his pitches were strikes. Jurrjens, who allowed one run in two innings against the Toronto Blue Jays on

Hunter pushed back to Saturday, and other notes

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Tommy Hunter’s pitching schedule has been adjusted following Tuesday’s rainout in Bradenton. Hunter threw a light side session today and will pitch Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte. Hunter will follow starter Wei-Yin Chen and left-hander Brian Matusz to the mound. No health issues. Manager Buck Showalter said he expects Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia to take his physical

Orioles lineup against the Twins (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Jair Jurrjens makes his second spring training start today when the Orioles travel to Fort Myers to play the Minnesota Twins. Most of the regulars will work out at the Ed Smith Stadium complex and call it a day. Manny Machado is making the trip and batting second. Danny Valencia is back at first base. For the Orioles: Alexi Casilla SS Manny

Hunter gets a longer look today

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles are hitting the road again today, making their first trip to Fort Myers for a 1:05 p.m. game against the Minnesota Twins. Jair Jurrjens will make his second start of the spring. He went two innings Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin, allowing one run and two hits and walking one batter. Jurrjens retired the first five batters

Tillman reaches pitch limit in second inning (O’s win 5-3)

SARASOTA, Fla. - In his first spring training start of 2013, Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman threw 43 pitches in 1 2/3 innings tonight and was replaced by Daniel Schlereth with a runner on first base. Tillman threw 22 of those pitches for strikes. His fastball topped out at 94 mph and hit 93 mph on multiple occasions. Jacoby Ellsbury took a called third strike to

Urrutia obtains work visa and arrives in Florida

SARASOTA, Fla. - The search for Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia has come to an end. Urrutia obtained his work visa and made it out of Haiti. I’m told that he’s in Miami and will take his physical before reporting to the Orioles’ minor league complex at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota. Executive vice president Dan Duquette confirmed tonight that Urrutia had arrived in Florida. “He

A quick visit with Koji Uehara

SARASOTA, Fla. - Former Orioles reliever Koji Uehara is in the house. Uehara made the trip to Ed Smith Stadium for tonight’s game, joining 10 other pitchers on the Boston Red Sox’s travel roster. Uehara smiled broadly when he spotted two Baltimore reporters walking toward him as he sat on the top step of the visiting dugout. He called for his interpreter to join him

Reimold leading off again tonight (Wada quotes, Ripken note, Tampa final)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nolan Reimold is batting first again tonight, as the Orioles host the Boston Red Sox in a split-squad game. Brian Roberts is batting second, and Nick Markakis is starting in right field after serving as the designated hitter in two games. Nate McLouth drops to eighth against Red Sox left-hander Franklin Morales. For the Orioles: Nolan Reimold DH Brian Roberts 2B Nick

Valencia on playing first base, and other notes (Pearce update)

SARASOTA, Fla. - While still recovering from the news that Stone Temple Pilots has fired Scott Weiland. Again... Danny Valencia is making another start at first base today in Tampa, his second one in four spring training games. He was supposed to play third base yesterday in Bradenton before the cancellation due to rain. As I wrote a few days ago, Valencia has never played

Orioles split-squad lineup against the Yankees (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Jake Arrieta makes his second Grapefruit League start of 2013 today when the Orioles travel to Tampa for a split-squad game against the New York Yankees. In his debut, Arrieta walked one batter in a scoreless inning Saturday against the Minnesota Twins. Most of the regulars are staying back for the 7:05 p.m. game against the Boston Red Sox. Danny Valencia is

Orioles keep making left turn

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles were denied the chance to face a left-handed starter yesterday when their game against the Pittsburgh Pirates was rained out, but there’s always another one right around the corner. They stepped into the box on Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays’ Mark Buerhle in Dunedin and on Monday against the New York Yankees’ Vidal Nuno in Sarasota. They never saw

Britton will pitch in relief Wednesday night

SARASOTA, Fla. - Rather than start Wednesday night’s split-squad game against the Boston Red Sox at Ed Smith Stadium, left-hander Zach Britton will follow Chris Tillman to the mound and work in relief. Tillman was supposed to start today against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton before heavy rains caused a cancellation and a bit of a rotation shuffle. Dylan Bundy, also slated to pitch today,

Looking ahead at the pitching schedule (game cancelled, one more update)

BRADENTON, Fla. - It’s still raining at McKechnie Field and umpires will check back with the managers at 1 p.m. to decide whether to wait or cancel the game. The Orioles’ pitching schedule will be affected if we have a cancellation. Otherwise, Jake Arrieta and Zach Britton will start the split-squad games on Wednesday and Jair Jurrjens will start Thursday against the Minnesota Twins in

Rainy days and Tuesdays

BRADENTON, Fla. - We have a tornado watch in Bradenton, rain is falling and the tarp is on the field at McKechnie Stadium. I can never remember which is worse, a watch or a warning. I posed the question on Twitter, and the best explanation came from @highaoa: “Watch” = CC Sabathia is pitching versus your team later today. “Warning” = he’s in the 8th

Orioles lineup against Pirates (note on Thursday’s pitchers)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Danny Valencia moves back across the diamond to third base for today’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton. Valencia started at first base Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin. Steve Pearce, who homered on Sunday, gets the start at first base today. Wilson Betemit is in the lineup as the designated hitter against another left-handed starter, Pittsburgh’s Wandy Rodriguez.

Tale of the tape

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles will make their shortest trip on the exhibition schedule today with a 1:05 p.m. game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton. Chris Tillman gets the starting assignment, and he’s expected to go two innings unless he runs up a high pitch count in the first. Todd Redmond, Steve Johnson and Dylan Bundy also will hop on the bus. Once the

Showalter talks about Matusz, Roberts, Robinson and more

SARASOTA, Fla. - Here are some highlights from Orioles manager Buck Showalter’s postgame session with the media: On Brian Matusz: “Good. Aggressive, attacked the zone. Got a big double play ball. I thought he threw the ball well. All our guys pitched well.” On Zach Clark: “I can see why people like Zach Clark so much. He’s got an idea. He’s a baseball player who

Roberts update and comments from Matusz (O’s win 5-1)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Brian Roberts is 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles today against the New York Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium. Roberts’ second double was an opposite-field shot off the fence in left. He scored on Nick Markakis’ single to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning. Roberts was 0-for-2 in Saturday’s opener against the Minnesota Twins. Tommy

Two scoreless innings for Matusz

SARASOTA, Fla. - Brian Matusz escaped a jam in the first inning today and breezed through the second to shut out the New York Yankees in his first exhibition start of 2013. Matusz threw 19 pitches in the first inning, 13 for strikes. He threw 11 pitches, seven for strikes while retiring the side in order in the second. His fastball mostly ranged from 91-93

Wada completes bullpen session without a hitch

SARASOTA, Fla. - Pitching coach Rick Adair confirmed that Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen, Miguel Gonzalez, Darren O’Day and Jim Johnson each will throw 20-25 pitches Tuesday morning in a simulated game on one of the back fields at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Position players won’t be used, since it’s more of a glorified bullpen session, minus the protective screen. “Just getting those guys acclimated

Upcoming pitching matchups and other notes

SARASOTA, Fla. - Tsuyoshi Wada will throw off a regular mound today at 11:15 a.m. Wada threw off a half-mound three times last week. He hasn’t stood on a regular mound since pitching for Triple-A Norfolk on April 19, 2012, when he lasted 2 2/3 innings and allowed six runs and six hits, walked four and struck out one. The Orioles shut him down after

Reimold batting leadoff (Yankees lineup and notes)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nolan Reimold is starting in left field and batting leadoff today against the New York Yankees. Reimold also played yesterday in Dunedin, going 0-for-3. Brian Roberts moves down to second in the order. Nick Markakis will be the designated hitter again, with Conor Jackson getting the start in right field. Manager Buck Showalter has plenty of outfield candidates, and he’s using these

Redmond wants another chance in a major league rotation

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles are back home today to play the New York Yankees, who are short one outfielder after losing Curtis Granderson yesterday to a broken right forearm. Early projections have Granderson missing the next 10 weeks. The Orioles have enough outfielders in camp to stock a dozen teams, but they won’t be offering any assistance. Left-hander Brian Matusz starts for the Orioles

Gausman and Showalter speak after 5-4 win

DUNEDIN, Fla. - Kevin Gausman came within an out of recording a save today in the Orioles’ 5-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Gausman left after Adam Loewen walked with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. “I knew that I was on a strict pitch count,” he said. “They were monitoring me for a reason. I wasn’t too (angry). I was more

Hearing from Jurrjens and Reimold in tie game (Gausman goes 1 2/3)

DUNEDIN, Fla. - Most pitchers will tell you that velocity doesn’t really matter this early in camp. Jair Jurrjens isn’t like most pitchers this spring, and he didn’t downplay the 93-mph fastball he threw in the second inning. In fact, he was ready to celebrate it. “It shows how hard I worked this offseason,” Jurrjens said after allowing one run and two hits, and walking

Jurrjens goes two innings (Patton struggles)

DUNEDIN, Fla. - So much for the Orioles starters working one inning in their first appearances. Jair Jurrjens lasted two innings today against the Toronto Blue Jays, retiring the first five batters before allowing a run on two hits and a walk. He threw 31 pitches, 19 for strikes. Jurrjens retired the Blue Jays in order in the bottom of the first inning. Jose Reyes

Valencia moves across the diamond

DUNEDIN, Fla. - Danny Valencia is making a rare start at first base for the Orioles’ exhibition game today against the Toronto Blue Jays. How rare? Valencia has never played the position in the majors. He appeared in 18 games with rookie-league Elizabethton in 2006, two with Single-A Beloit in 2007 and two with Double-A New Britain in 2008. Valencia has played 469 minor league

Orioles lineup vs. Jays (and notes)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nolan Reimold is starting in left field for today’s game against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. Conor Jackson, limited in camp by a soreness in his lower back, will bat fourth as the designated hitter. For the Orioles: Alexi Casilla 2B Nolan Reimold LF Wilson Betemit 3B Conor Jackson DH Lew Ford CF Steve Pearce RF Danny Valencia 1B Taylor Teagarden C

Ready for the first Grapefruit League trip (and Jays lineup)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Today is the first road exhibition game of the spring, and it’s a grind getting there from Sarasota in rush-hour traffic. I’m leaving early this morning for Dunedin - or, as I apparently mispronounce it, done-eatin’. A friend laughed hysterically and made me paranoid to say it out loud. Most of the “regulars” are staying back at camp, but it’s important for

Bundy and Showalter speak after 5-3 win

SARASOTA, Fla. - Adam Russell stranded two runners in the top of the ninth inning to record the save in the Orioles’ 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins. Russell issued a walk and gave up a single with one out before getting a strikeout and a line drive to short. Dylan Bundy wasn’t especially pleased with his outing, when the Twins loaded the bases in

Bundy struggles through scoreless inning (O’s win 5-3)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Dylan Bundy gets mixed reviews for his 2013 Grapefruit League debut. Bundy, the fourth overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, needed 27 pitches to make it through the fifth inning. Seventeen were strikes. The Twins loaded the bases on two singles and a walk before Chris Colabello struck out looking to end the rally. Now for the good parts: One

Exhibition update (more Davis and Britton)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles observed a moment of silence for Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver after a video tribute. Zach Britton threw 19 pitches, 13 for strikes, in a scoreless first inning. Eduardo Escobar reached on an infield hit with one out and Josh Willingham singled to left. Brian Roberts bobbled a potential double-play ball, settling for the force at second, and Chris

More notes before today’s exhibition opener

SARASOTA, Fla. - Once Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz completes his start on Monday, he will be followed to the mound by Mark Hendrickson, Daniel McCutchen and Pedro Strop. Those are the only confirmed pitchers for the Orioles. Others will be used, of course. Starters are expected to work one inning in their first turns before logging two innings in their next outings. The Yankees are

Reimold will start in Dunedin (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter said outfielder Nolan Reimold will make the trip to Dunedin and will be in the starting lineup for Sunday’s exhibition game against the Toronto Blue Jays. Reimold will face Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle. Jair Jurrjens will start for the Orioles. First baseman Conor Jackson is taking batting practice today. Assuming that his lower back doesn’t flare up,

Orioles lineup (and Twins)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Brian Roberts is starting at second base and leading off today in the Orioles’ exhibition opener against the Minnesota Twins. Nate McLouth is batting second, and J.J Hardy has dropped to seventh. Also, Nick Markakis is serving as the designated hitter - no health issues, just his choice - and Chris Dickerson is playing right field. For the Orioles: Brian Roberts 2B

McLouth’s on an early roll (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter will post his lineup for today’s exhibition opener against the Minnesota Twins after the media arrives at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. It’s safe to assume that Nate McLouth will start in left field, since Showalter indicated that most of his “regulars” will play the first few innings, the Twins are starting right-hander Kevin Correia and Nolan Reimold

Markakis back in camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nick Markakis returned to the Orioles this morning after flying back to Baltimore on Wednesday to attend a funeral. Markakis underwent a test before leaving to determine the cause of his acid reflux symptoms - the same procedure given to third baseman Manny Machado and left-hander Zach Braddock. “I had the test done in 2005 and they just wanted to go in

Pitching matchups for first two games

SARASOTA, Fla. - Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, Steve Johnson, Dylan Bundy, T.J. McFarland, Todd Redmond, Zach Clark and Adam Russell will pitch Saturday in the Orioles’ exhibition opener against the Minnesota Twins. As you can tell, each pitcher is scheduled to throw one inning. Jair Jurrjens, Troy Patton, Mike Belfiore, Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Daniel Schlereth and Eduardo Rodriguez will pitch Sunday against

Another encouraging day for Wada

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada estimated that he threw 15 pitches today in his third half-mound session this week. He remains scheduled to throw off a regular mound Monday for the first time since his ligament-reconstructive surgery in May. “It felt the best today,” he said through his interpreter/athletic trainer. Wada hasn’t experienced any setbacks in his recovery from the surgery. “It’s gradually

Britton talks about his opening assignment

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles are holding a normal workout today before Saturday’s exhibition opener against the Minnesota Twins at Ed Smith Stadium. Defensive drills, batting practice, a few bullpen sessions. Nolan Reimold said he feels good after entering yesterday’s intrasquad game in the third inning. Reimold and manager Buck Showalter are confident that the outfielder won’t experience any physical issues this spring after his

Patton bringing same attitude to camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - For left-hander Troy Patton, spring training feels the same as last year. It also feels different. Patton showed up in camp a few years ago wondering if he had turned invisible. He went on road trips and didn’t pitch. He seemed to have fallen out of favor, and out of any long-range plans. Last spring, he had to beat out Zach Phillips

Hearing from Showalter, Gausman and Patton (and WBC note)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nolan Reimold wasn’t originally slated to play in today’s intrasquad game, but he talked his way into the batters box and left field. “I sat down and talked to him today,” said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. “He wanted to get out there and get some at-bats. He’s been a full-go since he got here. He’s been a full turn-loose. It’s just waiting

Notes off today’s intrasquad game (updated with weekend starters)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles played their first game on the Ed Smith Stadium field, and they decided to have a little fun with it, sending out J.J. Hardy to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to Chris Davis. The rules were relaxed again for the last intrasquad game before Saturday’s exhibition opener, starting with left-hander Mark Hendrickson staying on the mound in the bottom

Phelps finishes out of the medal round in batting practice

SARASOTA, Fla. - Michael Phelps, winner of 22 Olympic medals and an avid fan of Baltimore sports, took five rounds of batting practice this morning on the main field at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Phelps, wearing an orange jersey with No. 18 to match the number of gold medals he won, and a pair of green sneakers that clashed, received advice from a variety

Rodriguez makes right decision to throw left-handed

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter is using all left-handed pitchers for Team 2 in today’s intrasquad game. That includes minor leaguer Eduardo Rodriguez, who will be called upon at some point behind starter Mark Hendrickson. And to think, Rodriguez might have been pitching for Team 1 if he hadn’t fallen down as a kid. Rodriguez was 8 years old when he lost his

Intrasquad lineups

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter is putting names in alphabetical order again for today’s intrasquad game, with the exception of Adam Jones in the leadoff spot. He wants Jones to receive additional at-bats before the World Baseball Classic. Team 1: Adam Jones CF Wilson Betemit DH Chris Davis 1B J.J. Hardy SS Manny Machado 3B Nate McLouth LF Steve Pearce RF Brian Roberts

Sidearm sessions

SARASOTA, Fla. - No early departures from camp today. The Orioles don’t have a charity golf outing scheduled and the intrasquad game won’t start until 1 p.m. It’s going to last six innings, which also will push us deep into the afternoon. Another reminder that left-handers Mark Hendrickson, Troy Patton, Daniel Schlereth and Eduardo Rodriguez will oppose Chris Tillman, Pedro Strop, Daniel McCutchen, Mike Belfiore

Looking back on Steve Johnson’s intrasquad start (and note)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter did his best to monitor both intrasquad games today, climbing up to the tower behind the bleachers for a while, then moving from field 3 to field 4. Terry Crowley tried to keep score, and various coaches offered assistance. Observers of Steve Johnson’s performance on field 3 had to come away impressed. Johnson, pitching the bottom of the

Showalter talks about Markakis and intrasquad games

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nick Markakis is expected back in camp on Friday after flying to Baltimore today for a funeral. As I mentioned earlier, Markakis underwent the same acid reflux test administered to Manny Machado and Zach Braddock. That’s why he didn’t play today. “He had it this morning, 7 o’clock,” said manager Buck Showalter. “He had to have a little anesthesia to do it.

Notes off today’s intrasquad games

SARASOTA, Fla. - Chris Davis hit an opposite-field home run off Tommy Hunter in today’s Orioles intrasquad game on the Camden Yards field. Davis lined a fastball that was low and away over the left-field fence. “Actually, it wasn’t a bad pitch,” Davis said. In his next at-bat, Davis squared to bunt twice against Adam Russell, taking the first pitch and fouling off the second.

A few morning notes (Markakis update)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter told reporters yesterday that Nick Markakis would leave camp after the intrasquad games to attend a funeral in Baltimore, but the right fielder isn’t in today’s lineups and there’s no sign of him in the clubhouse. I’ll check with Showalter later, but Markakis may have already left Sarasota. He’s expected back in a few days. It’s also interesting that

Intrasquad lineups

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter has posted his four lineups for today’s 10 a.m. intrasquad games at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Field 3: Xavier Avery CF Luis Exposito C LJ Hoes LF Travis Ishakawa 1B Yamaico Navarro 3B Buck Britton RF Adrian Marin SS Ty Kelly 2B Todd Redmond RHP Jonathan Schoop 2B Russ Canzler 1B Chris Dickerson CF Chris Robinson C

Let the intrasquad games begin

SARASOTA, Fla. - The long lineup layoff ends today. The Orioles are playing intrasquad games this morning on fields 3 and 4. At the same time. It won’t be easy to track every pitch with these games being played simultaneously, but I’ll provide as much information as possible. Manager Buck Showalter will post four lineups this morning, which I will pass along to you. Just

For Adam Russell, family will always come first

SARASOTA, Fla. - Adam Russell didn’t ask for perspective. He didn’t invite it onto the mound and into his life. But a family’s battle with cancer will do that for a guy. Russell attempts to keep his mind clear as he works out each morning at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. He’s here to play baseball, to beat the odds and make the club out

Anderson among promotions to baseball operations staff

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles announced the following promotions to their baseball operations staff, including one involving former center fielder Brady Anderson, a member of the team’s Hall of Fame: Anderson, previously the team’s special assistant to the executive vice president of baseball operations, is now the club’s vice president of baseball operations. Ned Rice, previously assistant director of major league operations, is now director

Jackson and Martinez on injury report (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - First baseman Conor Jackson came off the field early today after his lower back tightened while fielding ground balls during the workout. “It was just a little back issue. Nothing crazy,” said Jackson, 30, who signed a minor league deal Dec. 5. “With three days left before games start, just want to be careful about it. Kind of what the trainers preach

Machado back in camp (with note)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles third baseman Manny Machado returned to camp this morning and said he’s full-go for workouts, which will include batting practice and defensive drills. Machado missed yesterday’s workout while undergoing an additional procedure as part of his physical. He’s been dealing with some acid reflux that he said runs in his family. “Everything’s fine. Everything came out good. Nothing too bad there,”

How many left-handed relievers are too many?

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles will take the field this morning at 10 a.m. to stretch and begin another workout. Third baseman Manny Machado is expected back in camp after being away yesterday. And we finally know that reliever Luis Ayala is staying, which really makes the most sense after his participation in the Caribbean Series. It’s time for him to focus on the Orioles,

More on O’Day’s extension and Ayala’s decision on the WBC

SARASOTA, Fla. - Here are some quotes from today’s press conference announcing reliever Darren O’Day’s two-year deal, which includes a club option for 2015. O’Day earned $1.35 million last season, and he sought $3.2 million in arbitration. According to an industry source, he will be paid $2.2 million this season and $3.2 million in 2014. He also could earn $4.25 million in 2015 if the

Ayala not expected to pitch in WBC

SARASOTA, Fla. - Reliever Luis Ayala apparently has informed pitching coach Rick Adair that he’s not going to pitch for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Manager Buck Showalter passed along the news to reporters following today’s Orioles workout. Ayala already left the facility and Adair is in a meeting. I’ll provide an update later. Also, third baseman Manny Machado and pitcher Zach Braddock missed

Wada throws off half-mound

SARASOTA, Fla. - Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada threw 20 pitches off a half-mound today and remained encouraged by his recovery from ligament-reconstructive surgery. Wada found out yesterday that he would throw from the half-mound, something he’s done in the past while “taking it easy and having fun,” he said through his interpreter/athletic trainer. “This was the first time actually throwing hard on the half-mound. About

Schlereth has his health and hopes to have major league job (and O’Day note)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The clubhouse closed to the media at 9 a.m. today because the Orioles were having their annual nutrition meeting. Meanwhile, Kevin Gausman still has packets of mini-powdered donuts taped around his locker, and a few players were munching on the ones distributed yesterday in bags. You had to appreciate the irony. No updates on Luis Ayala, who wants to leave camp to

Britton is back, and maybe better than ever

SARASOTA, Fla. - If we could name a Most Valuable Oriole for the first week of workouts, I’d cast my vote for left-hander Zach Britton. And then we would discuss how it’s a ridiculous award, considering that the Orioles haven’t played a single game, intrasquad or otherwise, and I’m basing it exclusively on two bullpen sessions and one warmup. That’s still good enough for me.

Notes and quotes off today’s workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he used “every piece of the facility” for today’s workout. All of the mounds and cages. All of the equipment. Every field was occupied. “We needed every piece to get done what we needed to do,” he said. Showalter watched Jair Jurrjens warm up before the right-hander’s first bullpen session with the Orioles. “I just wanted to

Jurrjens throws first bullpen session (with quotes)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Jair Jurrjens did more today than put on a uniform and participate in fielding drills. He also completed a bullpen session in the indoor batting cage. Jurrjens threw off a mound outside the media workroom around 11:55 a.m. before heading to the cage, where hitters were tracking pitches for the first time. You can’t determine a lot from a side session, but

Breakfast is on Gausman

SARASOTA, Fla. - It’s been a quiet morning here at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. A few players competed in bumper billiards and cornhole. Others talked, listened to music and munched on breakfast, courtesy of Kevin Gausman. Well, courtesy of his locker. Gausman arrived at 8 a.m. and found 35 packets of mini-powdered donuts taped around the edges of his locker. Bags were stuffed inside

Another example of leadership (and note)

SARASOTA, Fla. - You probably figured out a long time ago that manager Buck Showalter is on top of everything. Nothing gets past him, including the little things that mean more in the big picture. A few days ago, Showalter noticed how the first row of seats for a team meeting was occupied by guys like Matt Wieters, Jason Hammel, Darren O’Day, Jim Johnson and

A few nuggets from Showalter

SARASOTA, Fla. - Another camp day is behind us and there are no injuries to report. Luis Ayala, Jim Johnson and Darren O’Day threw their first bullpen sessions in Group 2. Wei-Yin Chen, Jason Hammel and Chris Tillman threw in Group 1; Miguel Gonzalez, Mark Hendrickson and Pedro Strop in Group 3; Daniel McCutchen, Troy Patton and Daniel Schlereth in Group 4; and Mike Belfiore,

Duquette on Jurrjens contract

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette confirmed today that pitcher Jair Jurrjens’ contract includes an opt-out clause if the right-hander begins the season in the minors and isn’t promoted to the majors at a certain date. Duquette joked that he couldn’t remember the exact date. Jurrjens originally agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million deal that included another $2.5 million in possible incentives,

Robinson ready to play after “a week of misery”

SARASOTA, Fla. - Now that he’s cleared waivers and been outrighted, Trayvon Robinson is part of the Orioles’ camp roster and an extremely crowded outfield. Robinson, obtained from the Seattle Mariners in November for infielder Robert Andino, described his time on waivers as “just a week of misery, just thinking about it. “At the end of the day, I just want to get on the

Jurrjens on his contract, knee and latest opportunity

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles have 61 players in camp today. It’s a full roster, one that includes infielder Yamaico Navarro and pitcher Jair Jurrjens. Jurrjens is wearing No. 48. The Orioles had a uniform waiting for him. They just needed to adjust the deal he agreed upon. Jurrjens received a minor league deal after the Orioles, concerned about his right knee, withdrew a $1.5

Ishikawa wants to add to his Camden Yards memories

SARASOTA, Fla. - Travis Ishikawa hopes that his next visit to Camden Yards includes a uniform and a locker. Ishikawa, the first baseman signed as a minor league free agent on Dec. 19, has never played a game in Baltimore. However, he’s not a total stranger to the ballpark, having made one trip with his parents back in 1997. Here’s where it gets a little

Orioles sign Jurrjens to minor league deal (with Duquette quote)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Jair Jurrjens saga has reached its conclusion. The Orioles announced tonight that they signed Jurrjens to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. He’s expected to report to camp Saturday. Jurrjens had agreed to a one-year contract worth $1.5 million, with another $2.5 million possible in incentives, but the announcement was put on hold for three weeks. Now

Showalter on Reimold: “I expect that if he’s healthy, he’s on our club”

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter pulled Nolan Reimold aside yesterday and made sure the outfielder didn’t feel as though he had to push himself too hard in an attempt to make the club. Reimold has been participating in all the drills and taking batting practice this spring, eight months after undergoing surgery to remove a herniated disc in his neck and fuse two

Roberts feels ready to reclaim second base job

SARASOTA, Fla. - At various points during today’s workout, Brian Roberts joked with teammates, joked with reporters, looked like a guy who was having more fun than anyone else. He’s the longest-tenured Oriole, but he’s feeling like a kid again. Roberts, 35, is full-go at spring training, which included today’s batting practice session. No concussion symptoms, no pain in his hip, no restrictions following sports

A few quick hits (and one more)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The pitchers have finished their bullpen sessions and batting practice is winding down. Another workout is almost in the books. Brian Roberts took BP today in the same group as Nolan Reimold, Chris Davis and Nick Markakis. No need to wonder if Markakis is OK following thumb surgery in September. Same swing. And the ball is jumping off his bat. Zach Britton

Still waiting for Ayala’s decision on WBC

SARASOTA, Fla. - Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Reliever Luis Ayala says he will decide tomorrow whether to pitch for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Ayala was expected to announce his intentions this morning, but he’s going to wait one more day. Ayala still hasn’t thrown a bullpen session in spring training because of his workload in the Caribbean Series. The Orioles

Spring training leftovers for breakfast

SARASOTA, Fla. - We have another 10 a.m. team stretch today. Same schedule as yesterday. The temperature is falling here and the forecast still includes rain. It’s actually dipping into the 50s tonight and we’ll have a low of 40 on Sunday. I don’t expect a pity party, considering the snow that fell in the Baltimore area Wednesday, but it’s still a shock to the

A good day for Gausman (and Jurrjens note)

SARASOTA, Fla. - The media’s interest in today’s bullpen sessions peaked with Kevin Gausman’s spring debut. Gausman, the fourth overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, joined Mike Belfiore and Eduardo Rodriguez in Group 4. Minor league catcher Allan de San Miguel set the target. “It’s all good,” Gausman said. “First time in front of the coaches in front of the mound. They’ve seen

Hendrickson experiment continues, Robinson clears waivers

SARASOTA, Fla. - Left-hander Mark Hendrickson is adjusting to more than just a new arm slot in his delivery. He’s also throwing a new pitch. Hendrickson is throwing a slider for the first time in his career. “To be honest, I’m a completely different pitcher than anybody’s ever seen because I never threw the slider,” Hendrickson said after today’s bullpen session and workout. “I always

Ayala undecided about WBC (with quotes)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Reliever Luis Ayala hasn’t made a final decision on whether he will pitch for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. Ayala said he expects to inform the team Friday morning. The Orioles made the assumption that Ayala would leave camp to participate in the WBC, along with center fielder Adam Jones, reliever Pedro Strop, infielder Jonathan Schoop, and catchers Chris Robinson and

Today’s bullpen schedule

SARASOTA, Fla. - The threat of rain hangs in the air, along with the dark clouds that remind us of it. Wei-Yin Chen, Jason Hammel and Chris Tillman will throw in Group 1 today; Miguel Gonzalez, Pedro Strop and Mark Hendrickson in Group 2; Daniel McCutchen, Troy Patton and Daniel Schlereth in Group 3; Mike Belfiore, Kevin Gausman and Eduardo Rodriguez in Group 4. Rodriguez,

Thursday morning musings

SARASOTA, Fla. - Pitchers and catchers take the field at 10 a.m. today for the pre-workout stretch. We’re moving toward a more normal spring training schedule. The clubhouse will be open to the media from 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., and again following the workout. Perhaps infielder Yamaico Navarro will make an appearance and complete the roster. Then again, it could expand if outfielder Trayvon Robinson cleared

Leftovers from Showalter

SARASOTA, Fla. - The first round of physicals and workouts each spring training always brings the same first question: Did you make it through the day without any injuries? That seems to be the case today with the Orioles. “As far as I know,” said manager Buck Showalter. “Richie (Bancells) didn’t come to me about ... It seems like every spring, somebody’s got a flag

Reimold remains encouraged after today’s batting practice session

SARASOTA, Fla. - Outfielder Nolan Reimold didn’t have any restrictions during today’s workout. He participated in drills and took batting practice on the Camden Yards field. Reimold swung against camp instructor Scott McGregor on Tuesday, and he joined a batting practice group today that included Manny Machado, Ryan Flaherty and Lew Ford. “It was good. Just progressing into it,” Reimold said later while standing at

Valencia: “I’ve never, ever taken a PED in my life” (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Infielder Danny Valencia is attracting attention in camp for the wrong reason. For now, Valencia is known more for being a player whose name appears in the records of the Miami-area Biogenesis clinic that is alleged to have distributed performance-enhancing drugs to a number of players. He’s looking forward to having the focus shift back to baseball, and he took a step

Quick hits from the first workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - No major news came out of today’s first workout for pitchers and catchers - and all the position players who reported early. The only position players still marked absent are Travis Ishikawa and Yamaico Navarro. We haven’t seen Wilson Betemit, but he reported. We heard Adam Jones in the outdoor batting cage as reporters walked past it. He wanted to get our

The first workout

SARASOTA, Fla. - So far, the two most interesting stories in Orioles camp involve players who aren’t here - literally or technically. Jair Jurrjens can’t report until the Orioles decide whether he passed a physical. Trayvon Robinson apparently is here, but his dateline reads “LIMBO” until it’s determined whether he passed through waivers. Otherwise, the biggest buzz yesterday may have come from Nolan Reimold, who

Duquette on Jurrjens, the roster, the division and more

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette stopped by the media workroom earlier today and touched on a variety of topics. Immediately, he was asked about former Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens, who’s agreed to a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Orioles. Jurrjens completed his physical last week, and we’re still waiting for an official announcement. “We’re still working on that issue,” Duquette

Hearing from Buck Showalter

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter spent about 25 minutes with the media earlier today after conducting a meeting with coaches, instructors and the athletic training staff. He was in a good mood, joking with reporters and telling stories in between nuggets of information. Here’s a sampling: “We spent the first 45 minutes, 50 minutes of the meeting updating everybody in camp physically. Working

Quick hits from camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette didn’t have an update on pitcher Jair Jurrjens, saying only that he hoped the matter would be resolved in the next few days. He didn’t provide any specifics, including whether the Orioles could tweak the original agreement. Also, the Orioles hope to know by Thursday whether Trayvon Robinson cleared waivers. Tsuyoshi Wada has progressed to a

It’s report day for pitchers and catchers (updated)

SARASOTA, Fla. - Nothing much to report after yesterday’s arrival. The Lifestyle gym that I join every year was taken over by LA Fitness. The Sweetbay Supermarket, also located on North Beneva Road, closed last week. The Publix in the next shopping center remains open, and I can stock up on Kangaroo brand multi-grain garden herb pita chips. No need to worry about me. Oh,

Springing ahead to Sarasota

And so it begins. I’m heading to the airport for my flight to Tampa and the hour-long drive into Sarasota. The Ed Smith Stadium complex is closed to the media today, which I discovered after booking an 8:20 a.m. flight. Upon further review, I probably could have stayed in bed a little longer. Pitchers and catchers report Tuesday, with their first workout the following day.

Duquette on Jurrjens, Saunders, Redmond and Robinson

We should find out within the next couple of days whether pitcher Jair Jurrjens will officially become an Oriole. Executive vice president Dan Duquette, calling into yesterday’s “Hot Stove Baseball” show on WBAL Radio, said he hoped that the matter would be resolved “by the start of camp.” Pitchers and catchers report to spring training Tuesday, and the first workout takes place the following day.

Orioles reach agreement with O’Day on two-year deal

And now, all of the Orioles’ arbitration-eligible players are under contract for 2013. In the case of Darren O’Day, he’s also locked up through 2014. O’Day’s agency, the Beverly Hills Sports Council, tweeted confirmation this afternoon that the reliever agreed to a two-year deal with an $4.25 million option for 2015. He is guaranteed $5.8 million. The deal becomes official once O’Day passes his physical.

The Orioles’ camp roster

The days continue to melt away before pitchers and catchers report to spring training. I’m actually counting down the hours now as I try to get my life in order before turning it upside down. The first workout for pitchers and catchers takes place Feb. 13. The first full-squad workout is three days later. Here’s the list of non-roster invitees: Pitchers 68 Zach Braddock LHP

Orioles near multi-year extension with O’Day

The Orioles reached agreements with pitchers Jim Johnson and Jason Hammel on one-year contracts earlier tonight, and they’re close to a multi-year extension with reliever Darren O’Day, according to industry sources. The deal is “all but done,” according to one source. The Orioles are on the verge of giving O’Day, 30, a two-year contract that also includes an option for 2015. O’Day made $1.350 million

Orioles avoid arbitration with Jim Johnson (and Hammel)

Orioles closer Jim Johnson will have a new contract when he reports to spring training next week. Johnson has agreed to a $6.5 million deal, according to an industry source, that leaves the Orioles with two unsigned arbitration-eligible players - pitchers Jason Hammel and Darren O’Day. Johnson made $2.625 million last season while leading the majors with 51 saves in 54 opportunities. He filed for

Orioles sign Kyle Hudson to minor league deal

If the Orioles lose Trayvon Robinson on a waiver claim, they may have another outfielder to take his place in the minors. The Orioles signed Kyle Hudson to a minor league deal yesterday. His contract doesn’t include a spring training invite, so he’ll report to the Twin Lakes Park complex. Kent Qualls, the Orioles’ new director of minor league operations, confirmed the signing today when

Orioles claim Todd Redmond off waivers (Robinson designated for assignment)

The Orioles have claimed pitcher Todd Redmond off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds, a team source confirmed. Redmond, 27, made his only major league appearance last season in a start for the Reds, allowing four runs and seven hits, and walking five batters, in 3 1/3 innings. He was 8-11 with a 3.63 ERA in 26 games with Triple-A Gwinnett and Louisville. Redmond is 71-61

Are the Orioles done making moves?

Never say never. Apparently, the Orioles won’t be re-signing left-hander Joe Saunders, who reached agreement last night on a one-year deal with the Seattle Mariners, according to FoxSports.com. It’s believed that the Orioles also had a one-year offer on the table, and their ballpark is much closer to Virginia, where Saunders was born and played in high school and college. So what gives? Money, perhaps?

Orioles holding tryouts for ballgirls and ballboys

Here’s a quick glove story for you: The Orioles will conduct an open tryout to find ballgirls and ballboys for the 2013 season on Saturday, March 9 at Camden Yards. The judges will include members of the Orioles’ front office, MASN broadcaster Jim Hunter and former Orioles catcher Chris Hoiles, as well as Reagan Warfield of MIX 106.5 and Greg Carpenter of LITE 101.9. My

Orioles already camping out in Sarasota

Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in five days, but the Orioles continue to get a jump on the official start of camp. They held a three-day mini-camp at Camden Yards last month that was reserved mostly for pitchers on the 40-man roster - with a few exceptions - but the real action is taking place right now in Sarasota. Double-A Bowie manager Gary

The scheduling conflict

Since the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII (that’s 47 to you and me), they’re expected to host the first Thursday night game of 2013 on Sept. 5. The Orioles are supposed to play the Chicago White Sox on that same night at Camden Yards. Yes, we have a conflict, and fans already are asking whether the Orioles will move their game to another time or

Doing the splits

If the Orioles produce a video of the 2013 season, I suggest that they call it “Platoon.” I’m aware that there’s a film of the same name, but this one won’t include Charlie Sheen. Yesterday’s waiver claim of Russ Canzler provides manager Buck Showalter with more platoon possibilities in left field, at first base and at designated hitter. Of course, Canzler has to make the

Statement from Valencia

Orioles infielder Danny Valencia has issued a statement regarding the Yahoo! Sports report linking him to the Biogenesis clinic. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick passed it along a few minutes ago: “As any innocent person would be, I am shocked and troubled that my name is in any way connected to this story. I have never met or spoken to anyone connected with Biogenesis, in fact I

Orioles claim Canzler off waivers, DFA Martinez (with Valencia note)

Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette has added a hitter one week before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, claiming first baseman/outfielder Russ Canzler off waivers from the New York Yankees. The Orioles also designated catcher Luis Martinez for assignment to make room for Canzler on the 40-man roster. Canzler, 26, is a career .278/.347/.472 hitter in nine minor league seasons with the Chicago

A few morning notes

While wondering why Vegas has made the Ravens a 4 1/2-point underdog at their own parade ... As we continue to wait for the Orioles to announce the signing of Jair Jurrjens to a one-year contract, it’s fair to wonder whether they ordered more tests on his surgically repaired right knee as part of his physical. Otherwise, they’re really studying those results while making absolutely

One more week before spring training

I’d like to thank the city of New Orleans for a great idea. If I run out of material for a blog entry, I’ll just turn out the lights. I just wish I hadn’t overturned my own car last night. That was a dumb idea. Is it too soon to turn our complete attention to baseball? In exactly one week, I’ll be flying to Sarasota

Notes on Ayala and Chavez

With most of the country focused on football today, I wanted to pass along a couple of Orioles notes and remind everyone that pitchers and catchers report in nine days. Nine ... days. I may need to start packing. Reliever Luis Ayala will be in Sarasota, but the Orioles aren’t sure whether he’s going to leave for the World Baseball Classic. Ayala is listed on

Quick updates on Jurrjens and Hendrickson

The Orioles won’t be introducing the newest addition to their pitching staff today. Jair Jurrjens is completing his physical, and the club hopes to make his signing official early next week. It’s possible that an announcement will come Monday. Don’t expect anything from the Orioles on Super Bowl Sunday besides tweets from Adam Jones, who arrived in New Orleans earlier today. Jurrjens agreed to a

Rhodes, Tatis and more from Adair (updated)

I’ve heard from a few people in the organization that the Orioles aren’t likely to sign left-hander Arthur Rhodes or infielder Fernando Tatis to minor league contracts. Rhodes threw for the Orioles this week and Tatis worked out for them in the Dominican Republic, as The Sun reported, but a reunion doesn’t appear to be in the cards. Rhodes still lives in the area -

Adair confident that Arrieta will rebound in 2013 (with note)

One of the biggest surprises of spring training 2012 occurred when manager Buck Showalter named Jake Arrieta his opening day starter. It became more probable as we inched closer to the day that the Orioles broke camp, but I don’t think anyone saw it coming when pitchers and catchers reported in February. You probably know the rest of the story. Arrieta blanked the Minnesota Twins

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