*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.
SARASOTA, Fla. — Continuing an offseason of interesting front-office hires and inter-organization movement, Dan Duqette, the Orioles’ executive vice president of baseball operations, has added sports psychologist Seth Kaplan to provide mental-performance services, with a focus on the pitching staff.
“It’s mental toughness,” Duquette said of the lessons that Kaplan — who also worked with the 82nd Airborne Division based out of Fort Bragg, N.C. — will bring to the Orioles. “Mental toughness training. He’s going to concentrate on the pitchers. The idea is to help them prepare mentally to prepare physically. It’s a key component.”
Kaplan’s initial meetings over the first few days of camp have been with groups of pitchers, and the plan is to tailor individual sessions in the future. Thursday’s group included Jason Hammel, Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz, Jake Arrieta and Zach Britton — five pitchers who figure to factor heavily into the rotation this season.
To read the rest of the story on Orioles.com, click here.
The Orioles entire team and coaching staff started filtering back in at about 5:30 p.m. on the eve of the first full-squad workout for the surprise manager Buck Showalter is infamous for.
Last year, after Orioles players reported to Ed Smith Stadium for the first full-team meeting, they were ushered out to buses and taken to a local movie theater. As part of Showalter’s presentation to the team, he showed them a 12-minute custom-made highlight video which featured individual highlights of players and other motivational footage, such as clips from past Orioles bench-clearing brawls. The whole thing, which was set to music, was really well-received.
The team loaded up on buses again tonight before departing at about 6:15 p.m. ET, and they went to a local Sarasota theatre to watch another custom-made video montage. No word on how it was different from last year’s, but I’m sure we’ll get more feedback from the players in the morning.
Sorry for the lack of pictures today, my camera died and there wasn’t much time to charge it in the work room. I’ll have much more later on Orioles.com, but here’s a few quick notes…
*Jim Johnson threw off the half-mound today and said afterward he had no lower back discomfort and everything felt fine. Johnson will throw off a regular mound on Saturday.
*Zach Britton (left shoulder inflammation) threw from 120 feet today and was in good spirits about it. He throws again tomorrow.
*Second baseman Brian Roberts was in camp today doing some conditioning work and he spoke with manager Buck Showalter at length out on the field. Roberts is expected to speak with the media on Friday, which is when the team has its first full-squad workout.
*Outfielder Matt Angle was claimed on waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers today. Angle was designated for assignment when the Orioles signed reliever Luis Ayala.
*Here’s the list of pitchers who threw bullpen sessions today: Jason Hammel, Jake Arrieta, Kevin Gregg, Tsuyoshi Wada, Luis Ayala, Tommy Hunter, Dana Eveland, Darren O’Day, Matt Lindstrom, Brad Bergesen, Alfredo Simon, Pedro Strop, Troy Patton and Zach Phillips.
*Also, Showalter told reporters that Jason Berken tweaked his left hamstring during some conditioning drills. Berken wasn’t slated to throw today and there should be more details on the nature and severity of the injury tomorrow.
*Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz talked at length today about putting 2011 behind him and winning a rotation spot this spring. I have a full feature story on Orioles.com and you can click here for some quotes from Matusz and Orioles special assistant Brad Anderson.
*All the position players have reported and are accounted for, including Endy Chavez who was the final guy.
*The Orioles entire team and coaching staff loaded up on buses around 6:15 p.m. ET tonight to head to a local Sarasota movie theatre for a motivational movie montage that has become customary for manger Buck Showalter.
Last year, after Orioles players reported to Ed Smith Stadium for the first full-team meeting, they did the same sort of thing. As part of Showalter’s presentation to the team, he showed them a 12-minute custom-made highlight video which featured individual highlights of players and other motivational footage, such as clips from past Orioles bench-clearing brawls. The whole thing, which was set to music, was really well-received.
No on how tonight’s custom-made video was different from last year’s, but I’m sure we’ll get more feedback from the players in the morning.
*Matt Wieters talks about his defense and adjusting to the new pitchers in camp here.
*Pedro Strop visited a local elementary school today to discuss healthy living. You can watch that video here.
Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz held court for quite a while this morning and I’ll have a full story up on Matusz later this afternoon on Orioles.com. Here are a few quotes from Matusz, along with special assistant Brady Anderson, who worked with him this offseason.
[on 2011] “Last year was tough. It was a really tough year. There was that feeling that I didn’t want to feel again. It was motivation to get out there this offseason and work hard and really get after it. I feel like I definitely put in the time this offseason, so I’m excited to see the hard work pay off.”
“Last year was a lot of negatives. Nobody wants to experience struggles, but after going through them, I was able to learn a lot from them. Never get complacent with anything. Just being able to battle and grind through the entire season and never give in.”
[on who helped him this offseason] “Working with Brady was obviously important on the strength and conditioning side. Even working with Rick Adair on some mechanical problems that went wrong. And I spent a lot of time talking to my Dad, getting back to where I was as a younger kid and getting back to the things that worked well for me. Having those guys around has been really helpful.”
[on his mechanics looking better than last year] “I’ve never been into looking at video, watching too much film. I like to judge a lot of my outings just off of feel. I feel like it’s hard to remember what that old form felt like, especially after all the struggles of last year and really being out of my element. I’m starting to really, I feel like that old form is coming back. Being able to have confidence on the mound and just being athletic and letting the ball just come out with a lot of conviction behind the ball.
[on the rotation competition] “There’s a lot of competition this spring. There’s a lot of young talented arms and with the addition of Chen and Wada coming in, two left-handed arm. It’s going to create a lot of competition, it’s going to be fun this spring.”
[on if he has the mindset if he pitches like the old Matusz he can make the team] “Absolutely my mindset. Just compete and be myself, mainly. Just go out and focus on the things I do well and to be able to compete and have fun with it at the same time.”
[on if last year became a mental issue with him] “It’s one of those things where if things aren’t going your way it’s tough to dig yourself out of a hole. Physically I felt strong last year, it’s just the results weren’t there. but that’s over and done with, I’m ready to move forward this season and just be able to go out, have fun and compete and play the game that I loved playing as a kid.”
[on working with Matusz] “He came to me toward the end of last season, so it began as far as building his strength back up. It was before he went down on a few of his triple-a starts. We just started with the basics, getting his strength numbers up. And we did. As hard as we trained athletes need to understand that training never ends. It’s a continuous climb upwards in terms of strength and power.
That’s one thing Brian never had a problem with: he knew how to pitch by the time he came into the league. Maybe that was a little bit of a –I wouldn’t say curse—but he just never experienced failure. And that’s hard. The first time it’s a little bit of a shock.”
[on sensing a determination to put last year behind him] “Until you really rid yourself of that it’s hard. lt’s just one of those things that any athlete who cares about his performance will always go through. Coming back from a poor performance, until you’ve rectified it with a solid performance it’s probably all in the back of your mind whether you say it or not. It’s a fact of life in any sport.”
[so he dwells on 2011?] “I would imagine it’s almost impossible not to. Especially when you think about what his life is like. He’s in spring training now, hasn’t pitching yet. Every question [the media] is asking is probably about last year. So even if he wanted to forget about last year, I’m sure you guys would make it impossible to do so.”
[on if this could this be something that makes him stronger in the long run] “His work ethic will never be anything but excellent again. It just won’t be. The standards have been set, there’s performances that he knows he’s met already he’s going to have to maintain those and improve on those off the field. And he’s going to take care of his business on the field with the pitching coaches and matt wieters and learn how to pitch better even when he doesn’t have his greatest stuff. But as far as ever slipping back into not being the most powerful athlete you can be. That wont happen anymore.”
[what makes you say that?] “I wont let it happen for one. We’re friends now and he understands the importance of it. Whatever he does on the field, it wont be based on his power capacity. And that gives and athlete a tremendous peace of mind too. It’s bad enough getting hammered on the field. It’s especially bad when you maybe think you weren’t as prepared as you think you should have been. There’s nothing worse for an athlete, or anybody, as having that chronic remorse of ‘Wow, I wish I would have done this a little bit better.’ In that way he’s not different than the rest of us.
*It had been a quiet day until top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy took the mound for his first open bullpen session. (The first sessions were down in the closed cages because they were put through Rick Peterson’s biomechanical analysis first.)
It’s not often you see a crowd of people hanging around to watch #82 throw in Spring Training, but there was a sizable group on hand to watch Bundy including numerous Orioles catchers, pitcher Zach Britton, and just about every top Orioles official. The 19-year-old Bundy has been earning raves for how he’s handled himself so far in camp and he showed Wednesday that his velocity reports were far from exaggerated. He threw alongside Steve Johnson, the last two to go, and was caught by Brian Ward. I have a full story up on Bundy — that you can read here— but I also wanted to pass along some quotes from the young right-hander…
[any nervous/anxiety?] “My first ‘pen was, which was Monday. Monday was the worst man, I was kind of excited to throw that one. I was pretty wild. Today was a lot easier. The group [watching], I’m kind of used to it by now, in high school I always had a bunch of people watching.”
[on how hard he was throwing] “I’d say about 90, 92 percent. I’m not very good at percentages. Usually I like to make it as realistic as possible and close to game speed.”
[on his offseason leading up to this] “I’ve been throwing back home in Oklahoma, probably threw six, seven, eight ‘pens.”
[on Orioles catcher Matt Wieters]
“I can’t wait to throw to him. He’s going to teach me a lot about hitters and location of pitches, why to throw that pitch, when to throw it. I’m excited if I get to throw to him, we’ll see.”
[on adjusting to his first big league camp]
“It’s just baseball. It’s a bigger locker room with bigger names in it. I mean it’s the same stuff as high school basically except it’s a lot bigger, lot faster game and a lot bigger people.”
*The Orioles will bring in catcher Caleb Joseph to fill the spot of Dane Sardina, who failed his physical due to an elbow issue.
*Reliever Jim Johnson (lower back) came through yesterday’s half mound session with no problems and he will throw off the half mound once more before progressing to the full mound.
*Zach Britton (left shoulder inflammation) will throw Thursday, Friday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with the emphasis being on increasing his throws and the distance. Britton is looking at the middle to end of next week as a target to get on the mound, but right now it seems the team is moving very cautiously with him.
*Other pitchers who threw bullpens today included Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen, Jason Berken, Jon, Link, Pat Neshek, Armando Galarraga, Miguel Socolovich, Oliver Drake, Willie Eyre and Oscar Villarreal.
*Nick Johnson talks about his right wrist being finally healthy and getting an opportunity with the Orioles here.
*Pitcher Jason Hammel talks about his new team and returning to the AL East in a video interview here.
*On a non-Spring Training note, I wanted to pass along this little note that may pertain to some of you..
Zion Lutheran Church will hold its second annual baseball talk at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27 in the church’s sanctuary, 2215 Brandywine Lane, York. This year’s event features: Mel Antonen, baseball writer for SI.com and MASN and a Sirius/XM talk show host; Dan Connolly, Orioles/national baseball writer for The Baltimore Sun; and Jim Seip, York Revolution beat writer for the York Daily Record/York Sunday News. The writers will present their thoughts on the upcoming baseball season – Orioles, Phillies, Nationals, all MLB, plus the Revolution and the Atlantic League — and will answer questions from the audience. There is no admission fee, but a freewill offering will be taken to benefit the church’s youth ministry program. For more information, contact the church at 717-767-4673.
Dylan Bundy throws to catcher Brian Ward.
Another view of Bundy.
Bench coach John Russell, manager Buck Showalter and catcher Matt Wieters watching Bundy’s session.
Brian Matusz throwing a bullpen session. Orioles catcher Matt Wieters had high praise for Matusz afterward, singling out the lefty for an impressive performance on Wednesday.
Dan Duquette and Jim Palmer look on during the bullpens.
*The last group of pitchers to go through Rick Peterson’s Biomechanical analysis was taking place most of the morning (click here for a refresher on that) and Wilson Betemit and Ryan Adams were among the new position player arrivals. I’ll have quotes from Betemit up later on Orioles.com.
*Orioles reliever Jim Johnson threw 15 pitches off the half mound (which is only slightly elevated) today and could be up on the full mound later this week. Johnson said Tuesday morning he has had no discomfort in his lower back and the sense is the team is just being extremely cautious in moving him along.
Johnson has been an integral part of organizing the 2nd Annual Birdland Golf Classic, which will take place tomorrow. (For more info on that, click here). While he will not take part in the actual golf part, given that he’s limited in spring activities, Johnson will be one of numerous Orioles at the charity event, which last year raised over $26,000 for the Miracle League of Manasota.
The team will have an abbreviated workout Wednesday to accommodate the event, which starts with registration and lunch at 11 a.m. ET and a shotgun start set for 12:30 p.m.
*Zach Britton threw this afternoon and said he felt “event better” than he did on Monday. Britton has been slowed this spring with left shoulder inflammation, but the team has been encouraged by his early sessions and he’s actually slightly ahead of schedule. The Orioles will sit down and map out a plan for the rest of the week for Britton, who will take Wednesday totally off.
*To follow up briefly on my report yesterday about Brian Roberts working out, Roberts spoke with several teammates while at Ed Smith Stadium on Monday and was reportedly in pretty good spirits. He was working out again today and requested to not speak with the media until Friday.
Roberts took swings off tee from both sides of the plate and was headed to do some light lifting. He’s also been throwing and said he’s on a “progression” and has been working out at the team’s Minor League complex –Twins Lakes Park — since January.
*Pitching coach Rick Adair discusses the new additions in Spring Training in a video interview here.
*Catcher Dane Sardinha failed his physical and wont stay in Os camp. The Orioles will bring in another catcher from within, probably by Friday, according to manager Buck Showalter.
*Among those who threw bullpen sessions today: Matt Lindstrom, Dana Eveland, Tommy Hunter, Jason Hammel, Tsuyoshi Wada, Luis Ayala and Jake Arrieta. It’s actually Wada’s 31st birthday today and the team sang to him out on one of the back fields. Orioles catcher Matt Wieters made it a point to catch both Wada and Hammel, two of the O’s new arms. By the way, Lindstrom is “as advertised” as Showalter put it, in describing the right-hander’s power arm. The glove of catcher John Hester was making some serious noise catching Lindstrom, who figures to be a late-inning arm.
*Congratulations to Ryan Wagner, who was selected from nearly 700 applicants to be the Orioles new PA announcer. You can read more about Wagner, who was also part of MLB’s Fan Cave last season, here.
Brian Roberts getting in his workout.
Rick Peterson and Jim Palmer.
The Orioles also took the media on a tour of the newly renovated baseball operations center, which includes a brand-new weight room, players cafeteria, media area, training rooms, etc. The pictures I took from the tour are below.
Head athletic trainer Richie Bancells, who had a hand in the design and layout of the physical training area, explains the new additions.
Cartoon bird logos on the chairs in the training room.
The aqua therapy area has three separate pools and the trainers’ room will be able to see directly into each one once the video cameras are installed as planned.
All the Orioles’ retired numbers are up on this wall, along with Jackie Robinson, but this is the only one signed. Weaver signed it when he visited camp last spring.
The weight room, which was designed with all state-of-the-art gear and with an emphasis on functionality.
The Keiser is an innovative resistance system that runs on air pressure.
J.J. Hardy working with special assistant Brady Anderson and one of the team’s other new strength coaches.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter’s office
Another view of Showalter’s office.
The Orioles new equipment room had sliding rows and was modeled after the Baltimore Ravens facility.
Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts worked out at the team’s Spring Training Complex in Sarasota on Monday afternoon, taking swings in the covered batting cages and throwing with shortstop J.J. Hardy.
Roberts has also been doing tee work and short toss hitting drills, according to manager Buck Showalter, who said the infielder has also been getting work done at the team’s Minor League facility at Twin Lakes Park. Roberts is recovering from a concussion and has been sidelined for most of the past two seasons with his recovery and rehab updates sporadic at best.
Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette did say Monday that the second baseman is on a “physical progression” although he acknowledged that the organization still doesn’t know if Roberts will have the tolerance and capability to do certain things.
A dynamic leadoff hitter, a healthy Roberts would afford the Orioles a chance to keep Robert Andino as super-utility player, strengthening the bench depth and versatility for Showalter. Andino is coming off a career season and is considered the primary backup to Roberts, who appeared in just 39 games in 2011.
*There’s a lot of position players filtering in. Among the new arrivals today: Nick Johnson, Adam Jones, Chris Davis, Robert Andino, Matt Antonelli, Ryan Flaherty, LJ Hoes & Xavier Avery. Joe Mahoney has also been here for a few days along with Nolan Reimold, J.J. Hardy, Mark Reynolds and Nick Markakis.
I’ll have more on Davis and Andino up later on Orioles.com.
*Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said today second baseman Brian Roberts is on a “physical progression” in returning from a concussion, although he acknowledged that the organization still doesn’t know if Roberts will have the tolerance and capability to do certain things.
Roberts took swings in the indoor batting cages today and threw with shortstop J.J. Hardy and he has also been working out at the team’s Minor League complex at Twin Lakes Park as well, doing tee work and short toss hitting. You can read more about that here.
*Zach Britton (left shoulder inflammation) threw about 60 pitches today, at around 100 feet, and was able to work in approximately 15 fastballs from his regular windup, meaning the catcher was crouched down in a squat. The biggest test will be when he throws again Tuesday –since he has yet to throw consecutively– although Britton seems encouraged that he’s been able to get into his arm slot and hasn’t had any discomfort in that shoulder area.
“The best way to sum it up is that I feel as good on the morning I wake up and I’m throwing as the day after,” Britton said. “[Tuesday] will be a big test, how I feel when I wake up, then the next day how I feel after two consecutive days throwing. So if everything’s good, I don’t think it’s an issue any more. It’s more about throwing every day, maybe go back a little with throwing distance and then starting to get off the mound.”
Britton said he’s able to get into his arm slot with no discomfort which was the problem earlier this offseason.
“I feel really good,” he said. “It looks nice and easy. We videotaped it today so I’m actually going to watch it. But they’re saying everything looks really smooth, even in comparison to last year.”
*The Orioles will finish up the last group of pitchers to go through the bio mechanical analysis Tuesday morning, and the results come back in about 10 days. Guys like Britton, who isn’t throwing off a mound, may get it done at a later date. (You can read more about what that’s all about in yesterday’s recap.)
*I’ve been asked a few times about the 10 players in camp who are out of options. Here’s the list: Dana Eveland, Robert Andino, Chris Davis, Nolan Reimold, Alfredo Simon, Troy Patton, Pedro Strop, Jai Miller, Jim Johnson & Taylor Teagarden. Note that these are guys on the 40-man roster, so if they don’t make the team they have to be placed on waivers. Another interesting case to watch is infielder Ryan Flaherty, who is a Rule 5 guy, meaning he would have to be offered back to the Cubs at half the $50,000 price the Orioles paid for him this winter.
*New Orioles reliever Matt Lindstrom speaks fluent Swedish, he lived there for two years, and since the Orioles’ pitching staff has a wide range of languages this year, I thought it’d be fun to try to see what I can pick up this spring.
Word of the Day: Hur är lä´get? This means “what’s up” in Swedish.
*And finally, here are a few more pictures from today…
Orioles pitcher Tommy Hunter hamming it up for the camera. Note Troy Patton behind him, who made sure to tease him as he walked by.
Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette with director of baseball administration Tripp Norton (in the blue shirt).
Orioles manager Buck Showalter takes a second to sign autographs.
Mark Reynolds signing autographs.
Pitchers fielding practice.
Chris Davis getting ready to take batting practice.
Group mound meeting. If you look really close you can see manager Buck Showalter standing on the mound talking to everyone.
New Oriole Nick Johnson fields grounders at first along with Joe Mahoney.
Adam Jones hitting.
Jones and Reynolds hanging out behind the batting cage. Shortstop J.J. Hardy is also in the right-hand corner.
Pitchers Alfredo Simon and Zach Phillips running from one field to another during PFP.
Reynolds taking some swings.
*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.