The Orioles' starting infield, with the exception of first baseman Derrek Lee, just took the stage at FanFest to talk about the 2011 season and answer questions from fans.
Here are some tidbits from new shortstop J.J. Hardy, new third baseman Mark Reynolds, second baseman Brian Roberts and catcher Matt Wieters:
Wieters summed up what he thinks will be the biggest factor in the Orioles' success this season: "At the end of last year, our starting pitching was outstanding. Hopefully, those young guys can continue to improve and we [the infielders] will be as good as they are on the mound."
Reynolds on cutting down on his strikeouts this season: "You realize you got to be consistent in this game. ... I want to do the little things. I've been working this offseason with [former Orioles outfielder] Brady Anderson, and he's really helped a lot." Reynolds, who said he was working with Anderson even before the Arizona Diamondbacks traded him to the Orioles, added, "He throws great [batting practice], too."
Reynolds on his defense at third base: "I take a lot of pride in playing over there and getting better every year."
Hardy said he was excited to play for Buck Showalter, noting the effect the manager had on his players last season. "It seems like the team really responded to him well," Hardy said.
Roberts was effusive in his praise of Showalter. "I didn't think a manager could make that much difference ... and then Buck walked in and there was almost a different aura in our clubhouse."
Roberts, who said he "felt like I was really letting my teammates down" by missing so many games last season, also provided the highlight of the session. Asked about his season-ending injury, suffered when he hit himself in the helmet with a bat in frustration after a strikeout, the leadoff man advised, "Kids, do not do that."
"I suffered a concussion, which was not that cool, so I definitely learned my lesson," Roberts added.
Go to mobile.baltimoresun.com to get news on your mobile device. Text BASEBALL to 70701 for Orioles text alerts.