By Eduardo A. Encina
The Baltimore Sun
7:29 AM EST, February 20, 2013
For the Orioles, today marks the first of two straight days of intrasquad games in advance of the opening of the Grapefruit League season Saturday.
For a manager like Orioles skipper Buck Showalter, the time here in camp has gone by too quickly. He’s eager to see players actually play in games, but Showalter is a teacher, and he really relishes this time of spring, when he can instruct players on drills he believes will make them a better team throughout the season.
I asked Showalter after Tuesday's workout if he believed he or the players were getting to the point where they had enough of the drills and wanted to start the games.
“I don’t think you ever feel like [you have enough time] because it’s one of the few times where you can do this without a game,” Showalter said. “[It’s not like] 'let’s not do this there because you’ve got a game today.' It’s not 'let’s be careful with this because you have a game today.' It’s one of the few times in the year where you don’t have that problem.
“I always feel like you wish you had another day or two to go back and [do something]. That’s the beauty of coming back and hitting some things. The games show some things – nobody’s memory is that good – but you say that’s something you really want to focus on.”
Showalter admits that the actual drills change over the years. This year, he’s dedicated a lot of time to teaching how to adapt to a rule change that doesn’t allow pitchers to fake throws to first.
With infield shifts all the rage in baseball, the Orioles dedicated one session to five-man infield Tuesday, while some hitters practiced situation bunting for base hit drills against the shift.
The team will play two intrasquad games today and one tomorrow, then have one final full squad workout Friday before hosting the Twins on Saturday at Ed Smith Stadium in the Grapefruit League opener.
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