Notes & images from camp
*After PFP (pitchers fielding practice), a good chunk of today featured a group of the pitchers going through Rick Peterson’s Biomechanical Video Analysis in the covered batting cage area. The media wasn’t privy to the sessions, but basically it involves each guy stripping down to slider shorts and being hooked up to various wires while throwing between 7-10 pitches. The analysis is supposed to help identify flaws in delivery and prevent future injuries, and every pitcher will go through it sometime in the next couple days.
O’s manager Buck Showalter likened it to a part of early camp just like individual physicals and said the results usually come back in about 10 days. Peterson, who was named director of pitching development this offseason, has a website that goes into more detail on the topic here.
*Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, speaking through interpreter Danny MacLeith, said he wants to be a starter and is going to do what he has to to make that happen. Wada is one of about a dozen candidates for the starting rotation and the Orioles’ plan is to keep their options open until about mid-March, which is when they’ll start to sort out who would be a better fit for the bullpen.
Wada was an impressive interview today, and the full transcription is below. Showalter said he planned on meeting with the veteran pitcher sometime on Monday since Wada had a lot to digest his first day of Major League camp in going through Peterson’s analysis, the Orioles workout drills and fielding interviews from the Japanese media.
*Nick Markakis, J.J. Hardy and Mark Reynolds were all in camp today, well ahead of Feb. 23’s report date for position players. Reynolds, who lost at least 20 lbs, is hardly recognizable from afar. As I’ve said before, his offseason workouts were cardio-based and focused on improving mobility with the hope being it will translate over into better defense at third base. Reynolds is one of at least 10 Orioles who have made substantial strides in conditioning in working with Brady Anderson, who was named a special assistant to executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette this winter.
As for a slimmer Reynolds meaning less power, Showalter said he’s not worried about that happening, pointing out that Reynolds lost between 10-15 lbs from the start of last season and his home runs actually went up as the season went on. Hardy and Reynolds both took their physicals today and can start working out, while Markakis could hold off a few days. Markakis is expected to be limited through the first week of March anyway given offseason abdominal surgery.
*Right-handed pitcher Jim Johnson said today he had been dealing with a “little strain” in his lower back, but he’s not in any pain or discomfort right now. Johnson estimated he’s about a week behind the rest of the arms in camp, and you can read that full story here.
*The Orioles are without pitcher Dennys Reyes and catcher Ronny Paulino, who are both dealing with visa issues. Showalter said that both players are expected by mid-week. Pitcher Ryan Edell is still not at camp and is expected to retire. The Orioles had invited 31 arms to camp, but no Edell and Reyes puts them at 29 right now.
*Showalter briefly talked with second baseman Brian Roberts yesterday when he stopped by Ed Smith Stadium Complex and said reiterated he had a “good look” about him. Roberts has been doing some work at the team’s Minor League facility at Twin Lakes Park.
[on being here in the Major Leagues]
“This is my first time, I’m a little nervous of course but I’m enjoying myself.”
[on adjusting to O’s camp]
“From drill to drill there’s not really any time to catch my breath, but I think it’s pretty efficient to do it that way.”
[on his role, starting or relieving]
“I haven’t heard anything officially about that yet. But I want to be a starter, so I’m going to do what I have to do to fill that role.”
[on adjusting to four days rest instead of five or more in Japan]
“I thought about that while I was pitching on five days rest, on six days rest in Japan. I knew that it would be on four days rest here so I planned on coming here and having done something. But no matter what I do, I’m going to have to get used to it in the end. So I have that mindset. That I’m going to do what I have to do to get used to it.”
[on if the heat will be a problem, as it was for Koji Uehara]
“I eat a lot in January and February and for the past two or three years I really haven’t dropped any weight in the summertime when I do pitch outside. So, I’m pretty confident that I can handle this even though it’s my first summer in the United States. I think I’ll be OK.”
Orioles manager Buck Showalter talks to Brady Anderson, who was named a special assistant in the organization this offseason.
Pitchers and catchers gather on the field to stretch prior to the first workout of 2012.
Triple-A pitching coach Mike Griffin and Chris Tillman. Visible in this picture behind them on the left is Brad Bergesen and right is Zach Britton.
Orioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy introduces himself to former player and current instructor Scott McGregor.
Bundy again. The 19-year-old, who was the O’s first-rounder in the 2011 Draft, is in Major League camp and has yet to throw his first pitch as a pro.