Five spring trainings ago,
Manny Machadoand Jonathan SchoopThe Orioles made a pair of trades Tuesday, sending infielder Steve Lombardozzi to the Pittsburgh Pirates and catcher Michael Ohlman to the St. Louis Cardinals for cash considerations.With Manny Machado still recovering from offseason surgery on his left knee, Orioles rookie infielder Jonathan Schoop has filled in for him for much of the first three weeks of the season. But Schoop's immediate future seems to be at second base.The Orioles proved me wrong when they decided to keep rookie second baseman Jonathan Schoop on the 25-man roster and start him at second base in the season opener against the Boston Red Sox.Orioles catcher Steve Clevenger regularly made it to Opening Day at Camden Yards growing up, even if it meant missing school.As Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette sat in his office at the Ed Smith Stadium complex on a sunny afternoon earlier this month, overlooking a well-manicured cloverleaf of fields, a bitter winter seemed like an eternity ago in more ways than one.The Orioles added another player to their infield mix Monday, acquiring switch-hitting local product Steve Lombardozzi Jr. in a trade that sent veteran infielder Alex Gonzalez to the Detroit Tigers.Orioles executive vice president came into the media room at the Ed Smith Stadium complex this morning to discuss the team's trade with the Detroit Tigers for infielder Steve Lombardozzi in exchange for nonroster infielder Alex Gonzalez, as well as Sunday's news that All-Star third baseman Manny Machado will open the season on the 15-day disabled list.SARASOTA, Fla. -- It¿s currently raining heavily here at the Ed Smith Stadium complex, but the Orioles still hope to get this afternoon¿s 1:05 p.m. game in against the Boston Red Sox.Orioles third baseman Manny Machado returned to Sarasota on a red-eye flight from Los Angeles late Thursday night, but it¿s still unclear when Machado could return to playing in game.The Atlanta Braves are traveling down from Disney World today to play the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium for their only spring meeting.ESPN.com quoted Machado¿s surgeon, Neal ElAttrache, as saying the third baseman¿s left knee is ¿tracking normally¿ and Machado can continue with his rehabilitation. There is still no timetable mentioned in the report as to when he can play in games.In early December, Jemile Weeks' baseball career was thrown upside down. He was traded away from the only organization he had ever known, the Oakland Athletics, and sent to the Orioles for one of the franchise's most popular players, closer Jim Johnson.Less than an hour after the Orioles' team bus pulled into Bright House Field on Monday afternoon, the team was on its way back to Sarasota.One of the most striking things about Orioles spring training camp this year is the maturation — and, perhaps, metamorphosis — of Jonathan Schoop, who is now 22, speaks fluent English and hopes to make this year's club as the starting second baseman.Orioles right-hander Bud Norris battled through his shortest start of spring training on Thursday afternoon, allowing three runs (two earned) and four hits through just 1 2/3 innings.Right-hander Bud Norris continued to put up zeros this spring and the Orioles¿ offense touched up one of the Boston Red Sox's top pitching prospects to pick up a 7-3 win at Ed Smith Stadium on Saturday afternoon.The pitching line wasn¿t pristine, but right-hander Chris Tillman seemed satisfied with his second start of the Grapefruit League exhibition season.He opened the Orioles¿ Grapefruit League season by striking out three and giving up just one hit over two innings against a representative Tampa Bay Rays lineup in the Orioles 4-2 win at Charlotte Sports Park.The 30-year-old Ubaldo Jimenez, one of the top remaining free-agent starting pitchers, must still pass his physical before the deal can be officially announced and he can join workouts. But inside the Orioles clubhouse, there was immediate buzz about the team's new acquisition.Free-agent signing Ubaldo Jimenez arrived at Orioles spring training Tuesday for his physical and South Korean pitcher Suk-min Yoon is also here for his first workout.With the addition of right-hander Evan Meek on a minor league deal with an invitation to major league camp Wednesday, the Orioles now have 60 players invited to spring training.Now that longtime Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts has departed for pinstripes, Ryan Flaherty finally has the opportunity to become an everyday big league player.With the baseball's first-year player draft starting tonight in Secaucus, N.J., The Baltimore Sun spoke with analyst Jonathan Mayo, who will be part of MLB Network's coverage.