Results tagged ‘ Derrek Lee ’

Lee takes BP

The O’s received another boost of positive injury news Monday when Derrek Lee took live batting practice, marking the first time he’s taken successive BP this spring.

“It was really encouraging,” Showalter said of Lee. “He came in today with no soreness, no puffiness [in his right thumb] from yesterday, took a real good bp.”

Showalter said the team will wait to see how Lee feels on Tuesday before deeming him ready to take BP every day. Brian Roberts also worked out at the practice fields at Ed Smith Stadium with no reported problems.

More spring odds and ends..

*Non roster invitee Josh Rupe was sent home today with a stomach bug. He wasn’t scheduled to throw anyway.

Derrek Lee expects to take batting practice before the week ends and Mitch Atkins is still sideline with an oblique issue. Lee talked about being game ready in today’s featured video, which you can watch here

*Frank Robinson’s message to the team this morning was about utilizing the practice time in Spring Training and manager Buck Showalter said it went over well.

“He obviously can command a room,” Showalter said of the Hall of Famer. “He’s been in front of players for quite a while. You can tell he has a real affinity for the Orioles.”

*Showalter praised the way Chris Tillman threw today. Tillman was among a group that included Michael Gonzalez, Jim Johnson and Justin Duchscherer that threw to hitters on Thursday.

*Brian Roberts is about 50 percent improved and is aiming to play by Friday or Saturday. He’s been dealing with neck stiffness. Showalter said Roberts wouldn’t have played in the first spring games even if he didn’t have this issue.
 
*According to ESPN’s Keith Law, Orioles top prospect Manny Machado has hired Dan Lozano to be his agent. Machado, the O’s top pick in last year’s Draft, was previously represented by Scott Boras.

More Spring quotes

A few quotes from today’s first full-squad workout…

DERREK LEE
[on his familiarity with Baltimore baseball]
“I’m learning quick. I’ve always known the history and tradition here. A great tradition. I’ve always heard about how great the fans are. I’m growing to know this team. Buck had a great message last night. I think we’re headed in the right direction.

[On Sunday's night team movie]
It was awesome. I was ready to fight [Mike] Tyson last night. We didn’t know what to expect. I was thinking, ‘Wow, that’s weird, [a] 6 o’clock meeting. ‘ [Buck] had a great message, put the movie clips on, it was pretty good.

I was fired up. I had goose bumps last night. I think we’re going to have to show that movie before Opening Day, too, and maybe after the All-Star break.

[on having the whole team in camp]
The first day is always exciting. This is the time to cross the t’s and dot the I’s, get the little stuff done. It’s not always the most fun part. It’s tedious but it’s needed throughout the season., These next seven to eight day,s we’ll really bear down and get the fundamentals down before we start playing games next week.

ADAM JONES
[on Sunday's team activity]
It’s something that I’ve never seen, and I’m sure these guys have never seen unless you’ve been with Showalter before.

[was the message well received?]
Of course it was well received. You got veterans talking about it, along with the younger guys. We’ve got the message.

[on the different atmosphere in the clubhouse]

You walk into the clubhouse you can feel the vibe yourself right? I’ve never honestly walked into a clubhouse and felt that way until I walk[ed] in here. There’s a sense of pride. Everybody knows what’s at stake. We want to go out and stop getting our [butts] kicked and starting kicking people’s [butts]. Point blank.

NICK MARKAKIS
[on the direction of the Orioles organization]
“For the past two years or so, it’s been going in the right direction, we just haven’t got there yet. We have our young guys up here [now], and we have what we have. They’re here. It’s just a matter of filling in the pieces here and there. We got it this year and we’re looking forward to, I don’t want to say do big things but to go out there and do what we are capable of doing. And hopefully that leads to big things.

[on the vibe around the team]
It’s definitely a different clubhouse from years in the past. Things are going smoothly right now, guys are just getting to know each other, so it’s headed in the right direction.

A little Lee

Derrek Lee just had his conference call with reporters and I’ll have a full story up on Orioles.com shortly, but here are a few quick highlights. He said that he has discussed the lineup with manager Buck Showalter, but just knows that he’ll be in the middle of the lineup somewhere.

As for his right thumb injury, which he injured diving for a ball on Opening Day, Lee had successful surgery on Nov. 5 and has been out of the cast for about two weeks now. He expects to be cleared to start swinging in the next weeks weeks and is scheduled to see the doctor again Monday. 

[on coming to Baltimore..]
“Honestly Baltimore wasn’t on my radar [earlier this winter.],” Lee said. “My agent kept bringing up Baltimore to me, kept speaking  about it, and I’d go on Sportscenter, and hear of them signing guys

I was looking over their lineup to see what Buck’s doing up there…I just really warmed up to the idea it kind of grew on me, I’m very excited.”

[On his down numbers in '10 serving as incentive]
I do [look at this season as a redemption]. I have a little chip on my shoulder, man. People say I’m old and declining so I want to prove that theory wrong, obviously.

I’ve played a while….I had a bad year. That’s behind me, I’ve had some pretty productive years and I feel like I’m kinda getting thrown by the wayside after one year. So, yeah I have a chip on my shoulder and I’m excited to prove some of these people wrong.

[on how he would describe his style of play]
“I’m a guy [teamates] know is going to show up every day to work. I try to be on the field every single game,  obviously injuries are a part of it…[but] I’m going to play hard and try to lead by example, play the game the right way. That’s the way I was brought up.”

[on how close he came to joining the Orioles back in 2003, when he reportedly flew to Baltimore]
“We were  extremely close, it didn’t work out that day,” Lee said. “I didn’t know it was over when I got back on the plane. But it was extremely close.

I guess I was mean to be an Oriole because here I am 7 years later and I’m with Baltimore.”

Thoughts on Simon, Lee, LaRoche relievers

First, a happy and healthy New Year to all of you. Sorry for the slacking on blog entries here, but I’ve been trying to finish up my move to Baltimore. Usually, the holidays provide an ideal time for a beat reporter because it’s slower news-wise. But that hasn’t been the case for the O’s, as they reached a verbal agreement with Derrek Lee and have some serious issues coming out of the Dominican Republic.

*Yesterday saw some terribly tragic news with potential ramifications far beyond the baseball realm for Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon. Simon is the main suspect in a murder, although he has said he is innocent.

I’ve talked and exchanged texts with several of the Orioles players and team officials, and it’s certainly news that has shaken -and shocked – the organization. Simon was a pretty quiet guy in the clubhouse, but was well-liked and lauded for his efforts in the bullpen when Koji Uehara, Jim Johnson and Michael Gonzalez were hurt.  Although details are still emerging, I’d expect some sort of team statement today on the matter. News like this really puts baseball in perspective, doesn’t it?

*As for agreeing to terms with Lee, who will likely get his physical on Wednesday, I like the move. It’s a one-year deal with incentives that reportedly can get up to $10 million and the feeling is Lee and Mark Reynolds -who are both known to be tough, gritty players – will help add some pop to the lineup and some intensity to the O’s clubhouse. Both Reynolds and Lee played though injuries last season and -in addition to shoring up the corner infield defense – they are both outstanding guys to have around in terms of work ethic and, in manager Buck Showalter-speak, “want to”.

Signing Lee also makes Luke Scott the O’s regular DH, although a scenario where Lee and Scott switch once or twice a week wouldn’t surprise me.  

*I’ve gotten a lot of questions on what happened with Adam LaRoche negotiations, and the feeling in the front office was that, in the end, LaRoche didn’t want to come to Baltimore.

The O’s were very interested in LaRoche, but MASN.com’s report about a three-year deal being on the table was simply not true. Multiple sources -and several other media outlets in addition to MLB.com — confirmed there was never a three-year offer formally extended to LaRoche.

I had one source close to negotiations tell me that the Orioles were even hesitant to give LaRoche a two-year deal over a one-year offer to Lee. That should make those of you who were outraged at the idea of locking up LaRoche long term feel much, much better.

This is all (finally) over and –pending a physical — the Orioles have a legitimate first baseman in three-time Gold Glover winner Lee.

*Now what? The Orioles would still like another bat off the bench, a veteran starter and another catcher before heading to Spring Training, which is literally around the corner.

But the bullpen–especially with Simon in limbo–remains a top priority. The O’s have an offer out to right-hander Kevin Gregg and they would like to add a right-hander and a lefty to the current ‘pen. Losing Simon would give them another right-handed hole to fill. It could also make Grant Balfour a more enticing choice. The Orioles are interested, but as of Monday had not put a formal offer out to Balfour, who is a Type-A free agent and would cost the O’s their second-round Draft pick.

*Finally, I’m working on an Orioles inbox for Tuesday, so send any and all Orioles questions to brittany.ghiroli@mlb.com and include your name and hometown. Or send me a question on Twitter.  Thanks!

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