Atkins gets ready for shift
(Meeting of the minds: Andy MacPhail and Dave Trembley)
New Oriole Garrett Atkins was one of the growing number of position players out on the field for Sunday’s workout. Nolan Reimold and Luke Scott (with a lumberjack beard) were some of the other notable new attendees, which definitely put a smile on Dave Trembley’s face. The O’s manager was in a great mood today, raving about the players who had come in early and taking a few minutes to stand on a hill and watch several practices at the same time. It’s safe to say Trembley’s digging the new Spring Training digs.
I’ve got a story going up on the site later about Chris Tillman and Brad Bergesen, but here’s the highlights. Tillman was having back tightness so they shut him down today, but he should be fine and ready to pitch a side on Monday. Bergesen is getting better and expects to do 2-3 flat ground sessions before getting up on the hill. By his own estimates, that should be by the end of next weekend. Trembley noted he’s “very, very close.”
In case you missed it yesterday, I caught up with Adam Jones, who is extremely excited to start the season. Jones took some swings with Nolan Reimold, who made his first appearance down in Sarasota on Sunday, looking like someone in need of sun. He laughed when I told him Trembley asked if he could be any paler. But, he does live just north of Pittsburgh, so give the guy a break.
Reimold spent the winter testing his left Achilles tendon by running on the treadmill, and got to work it out on the field for the first time today. This is what he said prior to the practice.
“After a lot of running, it still gets a little sore,” he said, “but it’s already better than it was last year. I’m sure I’ll be ready [for Opening Day].”
And Atkins was busy working on getting himself ready and acclimated to a full-time role at first base. The former Rockie said he will try to remember how Golden Glover Todd Helton prepared, and go from there.
“[It’s] just a matter of getting out there and getting the reps in, this is my first Spring Training where I’m basically first the entire time,” Atkins said. “So I image in 40 days or whatever I’ll be able to get pretty comfortable over there.”
As for the other side of his game, Atkins said he hit more this offseason than in previous years and was looking forward to taking that into Spring Training. Sure enough, following his media session, Atkins hooked up with hitting coach Terry Crowley for a session in the batting cage.
Brian Roberts is in Sarasota and Trembley expects the second baseman will likely report tomorrow. His agent, Mark Pieper, stopped by Sunday’s practice.
*Trembley and his staff will hold an inter-squad game on March 1 at Ed Smith Stadium, with the Orioles coaches expected to hold a drafts of sorts sometime in the next week. Following the game, the Orioles will host a clinic for the Boys & Girls club, as part of their ongoing efforts to be active in the Sarasota community.
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