Spring Training quick hits
Happy Valentine’s Day! If you haven’t already seen it, I’ve got a feature on O’s manager Buck Showalter up on the site. With Day 1 in the books, here are a few quick tidbits to get you going now..
*The Orioles have 29 of 30 pitches report today, with Alfredo Simon the lone exception. Including catchers there were 35 in camp, although some of the early position players went over to the Minor League Twins Lakes complex to work out in roomier conditions.
*Monday’s workout got underway at noon since there were player physicals in the morning. Brian Roberts, who also took his physical, made a brief cameo at Ed Smith Stadium.
*Manager Buck Showalter said he was happy with how smoothly things went and that there were no “red flags” in this morning’s tests. There are only two pitchers coming off injury who will be restricted in camp: Brandon Erbe (torn right labrum surgery) and Luis Lebron (who is coming off Tommy John on his right elbow).
“Our best hope is that they don’t have any setbacks and they make progress and we deliver them to Twin Lakes healthy,” Showalter said. “I think Lebron is a little bit further ahead than Erbe, the way I understand it. I don’t think you’ll see them throw in a game here.”
*About half of the O’s pitchers threw bullpens today with the other half going on Tuesday. Lebron and Erbe aren’t up on the mound but Jason Berken is and he looked good today in his session. Berken –who has been rehabbing a season-ending right shoulder injury– is also about 30 lbs thinner than last season, although Showalter didn’t have the exact number.
“I hope he didn’t lose too much,” Showalter said. “He looks great. It’s good to see the young guys get their arms around things like that where they don’t become an issue. There’s enough challenges between the lines.
It just became a priority for him, it looks like. It shows you something. The shoulder feels good, too. It’s good to see him get up there today.”
*Jeremy Guthrie took a tumble off the mound during his bullpen, but appeared to be fine afterward. He laughed it off again later, and said it wasn’t a scary moment for him.
“My foot slipped out from underneath me,” Guthrie said of the incident. He did rave about the rest of his session, his first time throwing outdoors since last season.
“[It went] really good,” Guthrie said. [My] pitches were down in the zone, had a good feel for the changeup which was important.”
*It’s always interesting to watch the smaller things, such as the new coaches and player interaction. Pitching coach Mark Connor spent most of the bullpen session time behind the screen, and Matt Wieters followed to get a better view of the sink on Brad Bergesen’s ball.
*New first base coach Wayne Kirby immediately comes across as a outgoing, friendly guy, while I caught Connor and bullpen coach Rick Adair early this morning checking out the construction on the main field.