Orioles manager Buck Showalter was as active and vocal today as I've seen him all spring. On Field One, he was presiding over a rundown drill for pitchers. Basically, the pitcher fielded a come-backer with a runner from third breaking toward home. Showalter was instructing his pitcher to walk toward the runner, make them commit and then throw to the base where the runner is headed. Not exactly ground-breaking stuff, but Showalter was making sure his message was getting across loud and clear.

"This is easy stuff, guys," Showalter said. "We can do this."

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When Jim Johnson did exactly what Showalter had just finished teaching, the Orioles manager said: 'That's it, that's beautiful. Lock and load."

A couple of other notes: Robert Andino showed up to Ed Smith Stadium to drop his stuff off tonight, becoming the latest early position-player arrival. Showalter has mentioned several times that he expects the battle for that final bench spot to be spirited. The main candidates, at least as I see it, are Andino, Nick Green, Brendan Harris and Jake Fox. I'd say Andino and Fox are the front-runners because they are on the 40-man roster and neither has an option remaining.

I also wanted to correct a mistake I made earlier today. Pitching prospect Matt Hobgood, who has been dealing with a sore right shoulder, was seen by team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens today. He did not have a magnetic resonance imaging. I thought that was scheduled for today, but it's actually scheduled for tomorrow. Either way, he'll have an MRI and team officials remain optimistic that he'll avoid surgery and rehab is the right route.

Finally, I'm not much for self-promotion. I've said this several times, but I leave that up to my colleague, Peter Schmuck. However, I'd encourage you to check back on our website later to check out a story I wrote on the Orioles' farm system. It was a little early in the spring to write that type of story, but on a day when Brandon Snyder was trying on catching gear and Hobgood was getting his shoulder looked at, I felt it was appropriate.

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