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Orioles notes: Gallardo could join team Tuesday; Paredes and Rickard trying to crack roster

SARASOTA, FLA. — New Orioles right-hander Yovani Gallardo could participate in his first workout with his new team as early as Tuesday.

Gallardo is scheduled to have his physical Monday afternoon, and the club could get the results later in the day. The Orioles must also make a move to clear 40-man roster space before Gallardo can officially join the club.

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"It could go over into tomorrow, or if they get everything done today, he could potentially be on the field tomorrow," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "But it will be either tomorrow or Wednesday if everything checks out. They've got all the equipment and all the things they need to get done down here. We brought the doctors to him. They were already down here for the physicals."

Tuesday also marks report day for position players and Wednesday is the Orioles' first full spring workout.

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Most position players have already reported to camp and early arrivals have been increasingly common under Showalter. In fact, all the team's players on the 40-man roster had appeared at the Ed Smith Stadium complex by Monday afternoon.

Paredes working on defense

Jimmy Paredes might have been the Orioles' best hitter over the first two months of last season, but he enters spring training again battling for a roster spot.

Paredes emerged as the team's primary designated hitter in the first half of the season, hitting .340/.368/.556 in his first 35 games. But once his bat cooled, his inability to play defense began to limit his playing time and he ended the season hitting .275/.310/416.

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This offseason, he played 21 games for Escogido in the Dominican Winter League, attempting to refine his outfield play. As he reported to Orioles camp a day early on Monday, he was fielding grounders at third base.

"I'm bringing the [idea] that I'm not going to try to do too much," Paredes said. "I'm [still] going to try to do the best I can. I'll play as hard as I can. I'm coming to do my job. I'm going to try to make the team again and put a good spring [together] and we'll see what happens later."

Paredes struggled in the second half of the season, hitting just .216/.252/.265 after the All-Star break.

"Maybe the pitcher made new adjustments," Paredes said. "I was a little late sometimes. I don't know. Maybe my swing was low. I don't know what happened in the second half. I'm working hard this year to get better in the second half -- having a good start and then [also] from the second half to the finish [playing] the best I can. … I had to get [better timing]. If I got a good pitch to hit, I have to get on time. … I tried to do too much, I have to use my hands. That's what I have to do, see the ball and hit it good."

Paredes was about to win one of the final roster spots out of camp before a lower back strain landed him on the disabled list to open the 2015 season. He returned in mid-April. Now he must win a spot all over again.

"If they give me the chance, I'll [try to] take advantage," Paredes said. "[If] it's better than last year's spring or the same, I'll still try to do my best. That's why I want to take advantage of [playing]."

Rickard faces challenge

Outfielder Joey Rickard, the team's Rule 5 draft pick, has already begun working out with his new team. And even though the Orioles have had success keeping their Rule 5 picks – retaining Ryan Flaherty, T.J. McFarland and Jason Garcia through the process – it will be difficult to keep Rickard on the 25-man active roster.

"There's a spot potentially," Showalter said. "I wouldn't close that door. See what happens in the next couple days. I know Dan [Duquette] and I have been beating around some things. I know Dan's gathering opinions on our roster and the potentials, even if we have to do another one.

"I was watching Rickard run around in the outfield yesterday during BP. He can go get the ball. [He's] got a David Lough look to him as a defender."

Around the horn

The Orioles will hold two intrasquad games this weekend at Ed Smith Stadium. They will have a five-inning game on Saturday at 11 a.m. and a seven-inning game on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. Neither game is open to the public. … Several players participated in the sixth annual OriolesReach Birdland Golf Classic at The Founders Club in Sarasota. The team had a slightly abbreviated workout because of it.

eencina@baltsun.com
twitter.com/EddieInTheYard

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