SARASOTA, Fla. -- Today was the Orioles’ first full-squad workout of the season, but many position players have already reported to the Ed Smith Stadium complex.
The story of the day was Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts, who participated in warm-up drills with his teammates -- jogging and stretching -- and played catch before retreating to the clubhouse to work on his own progression in recovering from two concussions.
“Every day that goes by, you're more encouraged,” Roberts told reporters in his first media session. “We've certainly had some rough patches for sure, but every day is a new day, and every day we're taking a step forward at this point."
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Other news of note:
-- Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis, who is recovering from offseason abdominal surgery, worked out with the full squad. He hit live batting practice and took part in outfield drills. It was obvious that Markakis is not 100 percent still, but it’s obviously a good sign. Speaking to the media after the workout, he said he feels no pain when he swings and the focus is now on strengthening his core region. Neither Markakis or the Orioles are concerned if he’s unable to participate in the team’s first few games, and that's because of Markakis’ dedication to keeping himself in shape. Showalter said Markakis is limited in his number of swings and the kind of balls he fields.
-- Right-hander Jason Berken has been shut down indefinitely with a left hamstring strain, which he suffered during a running drill during Thursday’s workout. Berken said he considers himself day to day but added that today was about staying away from baseball activities and letting the inflammation subside. “I’ve never had this injury before,” he said. “I’ve never had a hamstring injury before, so I really have no idea what to expect. But I don’t think it’s going to be one of those things that’s going to keep me out for an extended period of time. I’m optimistic that it’ll heal up soon, and I’ll do whatever I can to make that happen.”
-- Players talked about last night’s team bonding activity, in which Buck Showalter took the squad to a local movie theater, where they watched a 20-minute video that included the clips from the highs and lows of the season -- including the Orioles’ season-finale walkoff win over the Red Sox that knocked Boston out of playoff contention.
-- Nonroster invitee Willie Eyre discontinued his bullpen session today after he felt a pull in his groin. Showalter said it’s more of a precaution.
-- Catcher Matt Wieters caught top prospect Dylan Bundy’s bullpen session today.