Scott is making position known

The Baltimore Sun

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - When Luke Scott came to spring training camp this week to prepare for his second season with the Orioles, he came to play left field. Where he actually ends up in the Orioles' lineup on Opening Day might be another matter, but he wants to be clear about his intentions.

The team appears likely to move him into a regular designated hitter role, but Scott is still projecting himself as a regular outfielder.

"Absolutely, I don't see any reason not to ... any reason why I shouldn't," he said. "I don't mind doing a little DH-ing. If you're a DH once or twice a week, your legs stay fresher. It gives you a little bit of a break if you get a tweak somewhere. That's good. I will do whatever they ask me to do to the best of my ability, but my opinion: I don't want to DH for 130 games."

This is the point at which a lot of players might talk about playing somewhere else, but you're not going to hear Scott demanding a trade if he ends up as a full-time DH. He's not built that way. He just wants to make the point that he established himself in left field last year and wants the opportunity to stay there, though it's just as obvious that the Orioles have decided to give newly acquired outfielder Felix Pie every opportunity to play regularly.

Manager Dave Trembley said yesterday that he's not ready to commit to anything at this early stage of spring training. He expects to play Scott some in the outfield and could even ask him to begin taking ground balls at first base.

"It's way too early to start penciling guys into certain spots and saying, 'This is what they're going to be,' " Trembley said. "He's not coming into camp here thinking all he's going to do is be a DH. He will play in the outfield. That's why he's here."

Though he might end up being disappointed, Scott said he enjoys playing for Trembley and feels the team has always been honest with him, so he doesn't want to make any waves as the Orioles embark on a new season.

"If I believed I was getting the shaft, there might be a problem because anybody would have a problem with getting lied to or getting the runaround," Scott said. "But it's not like that here. Dave's door is always open. It's open communication."

Anything can happen in six weeks, but if the season opens with Scott in the DH role, he says he'll be on board.

"When the time comes to be a team player, you have to put your individual desires aside and do what's best for the team," he said.

Reimold's tough road

Orioles outfield prospect Nolan Reimold is in major league camp for the first time, and he's ready for his screen test, even if a great audition probably won't get him the part.

He'll need a lot of things to break his way to be in the major leagues Opening Day. The Orioles acquired Pie and utility man-fourth outfielder Ryan Freel during the offseason. Scott could still show up in left field, too, which makes for a pretty crowded outfield situation.

Combine that with the possibility of a 13-man pitching staff, and Reimold has to figure he's going to start at Triple-A Norfolk.

"I don't project at all," he said. "I take it day-to-day and hope for the best. I'll just play hard and see what happens."

Around the horn

Koji Uehara will make his Orioles spring debut Feb. 27 against the Florida Marlins in Jupiter, Fla. The Japanese right-hander will throw a bullpen session today and batting practice Saturday. ... Trembley singled out the performances of Chris Ray and Troy Patton in bullpen sessions. ... Wilfrido Perez threw a bullpen session after missing the previous day's workout because of dehydration. ... Brian Roberts, Brandon Snyder, Craig Brazell and Reimold became the latest position players to arrive at camp. All position players have to be in town by today.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec contributed to this article.

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