By Eduardo A. Encina
The Baltimore Sun
3:44 PM EST, February 12, 2013
SARASOTA, Fla. -- On the eve of the first workout of the spring for pitchers and catchers, it was mostly quiet here at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.
Pitchers and catchers reported today – they filtered in throughout the morning and early afternoon – and the majority of position players are already here before Friday’s report day. Center fielder Adam Jones played catch. Shortstop J.J. Hardy hit off a tee in the indoor batting cage.
The Orioles officially have 60 players listed on their spring training roster. That includes 19 non-roster invitees. Outfielder Trayvon Robinson is listed on the roster in anticipation that he clears waivers over the next two days. He was designated for assignment on Friday.
Pitchers and catchers will begin their first workout Wednesday at noon after physicals and staff meetings in the morning.
Outfielder Nolan Reimold, limited to just 16 games in 2012, hit off live pitching for the first time since season-ending neck surgery, taking pitches from rehab coordinator Scott McGregor.
Manager Buck Showalter said Reimold is a “full go” for this spring.
“It’s a big step for him mentally more than physically,” Showalter said. “He’s not nervous, but he’s got some anxiety. ... He’s afraid he’s going to go out there and swing and miss about 10 times.”
Asked whether he sees a left field platoon situation between Reimold and Nate McLouth, Showalter said he didn’t want to use the “P-word.”
“I kind of like the edge that Nolan’s got right now,” Showalter said. “He’s seen some things we’ve done. I do have a long memory of what Nolan was getting ready to do for us last year. And how he got hurt. So he’s going to get a very patient approach. He can be a big player for us this year, something that a lot of people have forgotten about.”
Here are some more notes about the first day here in Sarasota:
-- Top pitching prospects Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman will get the opportunity to start in major league spring training games. The innings will be there for them, especially early on as Showalter intends to pace his pitchers differently because of the World Baseball Classic.
“They’re going to options to start down here and see if they can get in the mix or not,” Showalter said. “I don’t want to sit here and say they’re definitely not going to make the club and then put ourselves in a corner or have them hear that. I know the confidence level these two young men have and the confidence our organization has in them so I’m not going to say right out of the chute that this is going to happen when I don’t know.”
Showalter said both will “be available to pitch to us to pitch in September and October.”
-- The Jair Jurrjens watch continues. The team has yet to officially announce his signing and Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said it is “an issue that just takes a little bit more time on the process.”
The team has had concerns about Jurrjens’ health, specifically his right knee, and his physical has been a lengthy process. The Orioles agreed to a $1.5 million major league deal that could peak to $4 million with incentives.
“We’re still working on that issue,” Duquette said. “We don’t have that resolved yet. We hope to get it resolved in the next couple of days.”
-- Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada, shelved since undergoing Tommy John surgery in May, is now on a throwing progression and is throwing long toss. Both Showalter and Duquette said Wada likely wouldn’t join the team until May at the earliest.
-- Second baseman Brian Roberts, who played in just 17 games last season due to injury, has been working out and doing all baseball activities at the Ed Smith complex and is a full go. In the final season of a four-year, $40 million contract, Roberts hasn’t played in more than 59 games since 2009.
-- Non-roster catcher Jose Gil was absent for report day because of visa issues. Last season, non-roster catcher Ronny Paulino missed three weeks of camp with visa issues.
-- The Orioles have intrasquad games planned for Feb. 20 (10:30 a.m.) and Feb. 21 (1:05 p.m.) before the team’s Grapefruit League opener on Feb. 23 at Ed Smith Stadium against the Twins.
-- Among the Orioles' position players who reported Tuesday were Jones, Hardy, Reimold, second baseman Alexi Casilla, third baseman Manny Machado, outfielder Lew Ford, first baseman Russ Canzler, first baseman Conor Jackson, right fielder Nick Markakis, outfielder Nate McLouth, outfielder Steve Pearce and outfielder Jason Pridie.
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