Notes & images from camp Day 6
*The Orioles had their first full-squad workout today and second baseman Brian Roberts was with the team on the field. The O’s had early-morning physicals and took the field about an hour ahead of schedule. Roberts played some catch with shortstop J.J. Hardy and then went inside to do some more work. He’s hitting off a tee and lifting right now and has no timetable or set progression. It really is day-by-day, a cliche but one that Roberts used to best describe how he’s looking at things.
“I don’t want him ’til he’s right,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Roberts, who he likened to a free-agent that he hopes can give his club a boost. “We got to make him feel comfortable about being honest.” I’ll have a full Roberts story up later on Orioles.com, but you can read some of the highlights from his interview here.
*Orioles pitcher Tommy Hunter and the Oriole Bird will participate in Opening Day festivities for the Cal Ripken Baseball League in Sarasota. Both Hunter and the Bird will greet Ripken League players and fans at the event, and Berken will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Ceremonies will begin at 6:00 p.m. at the fields, which are located at 2801 12th Street in Sarasota.
*Pitcher Jason Berken has a left hamstring strain and is considered day-to-day right now. Berken felt something when running sprints yesterday and he didn’t participate in any activities today, he just got some treatment.
*Orioles right-hander Willie Eyre felt some groin tightness when warming up and he didn’t throw his bullpen as scheduled. Here are the guys who did throw: Wei-Yen Chen, Pat Neshek, Brian Matusz, Jon Link, Armando Gallarraga, Oscar Villarreal, Chris Tillman, Dylan Bundy, Oliver Drake, Steve Johnson and Miguel Socolovich. O’s catcher Matt Wieters caught Bundy, who again looked impressive, and Matusz also jumped out with another strong ‘pen.
*Robert Andino took most of the reps at second base today, with Wilson Betemit lining up behind Mark Reynolds at third and Nick Johnson behind Chris Davis at first.
*Nick Markakis (abdominal surgery) took part in practice, although he said he won’t be able to go 100 percent for a few weeks. Markakis has been in camp for a while working on his rehab and he did take some swings in outdoor batting practice today. Markakis said he’s in no pain swinging but in fielding right now going side-to-side is a little “iffy”. The goal remains to be ready for Opening Day and given that Markakis isn’t a guy who needs a lot of Spring Training work to be ready, he estimated getting 4-5 games would be enough.
*Also, to follow up on last night’s team movie night: the video montage featured a lot of different clips from last season, including the last game of the year when Robert Andino’s walkoff beat the ston Red Sox. There was a lot of emotion from Ravens’ player Ray Lewis firing them up to snapshots of the currents O’s players screaming, swearing and caught in the heat of the moment at various times last year.
The consensus in the clubhouse was that this video was better than last year’s, particularly the end. Given that they knew a movie was coming, that’s pretty impressive and a compliment Showalter took in stride. He said next year he may have to mix things up and do something different.
*The Orioles aren’t likely to add a catcher from outside the organization and are still under the impression Ronnie Paulino –who is having visa issues — will report to camp in the next few days. Paulino was signed to a Minor League deal and was expected to compete for the backup catcher job along with Taylor Teagarden, who is being brought along slow this spring because of an offseason procedure on his knee. The Orioles also added Caleb Joseph from Minor League camp.
J.J. Hardy and Robert Andino at BP, with Mark Reynolds taking swings.
Chris Tillman and Dylan Bundy throwing bullpens.
Brian Matusz throwing another bullpen.
Matt Wieters taking part in defensive drills.
Meeting of the minds. Orioles manager Buck Showalter and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette looking on during bullpens.
Reynolds and Hardy.
Endy Chavez is leaning up against the cage, with Nolan Reimold behind him.