Fox on the run

SARASOTA, Fla. - Infielder Brendan Harris and minor league outfielder Matt Angle are here today. Add them to the list of early arrivals, which also includes first baseman Joe Mahoney.

Mahoney, the Orioles' minor league player of the year, had a long chat with Harris this morning. I assumed that they knew each other, though I couldn't figure out how, but they just met.

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Chris Tillman and Jake Arrieta will throw their first bullpen sessions today.

Players will take the field around 10 a.m. Jake Fox is hanging with the catchers - his locker is between Matt Wieters and Craig Tatum - but he'll continue to move around to different positions.

Fox brought nine gloves: two infield, two first base, two outfield and three catcher's mitts. He found out that he'd be reporting to camp with the pitchers and catchers only after receiving a notice from the club that included the date of his physical.

"I don't think anybody really knows where I fit in quite yet, because I can play a bunch of positions and they like the way I hit the ball," Fox said. "It just comes down to where I fit the best. And I think that's one of the advantages of having a utility player that can play a lot of positions, the fact that you can put him wherever he fits in.

"Catcher was my primary position when I got drafted, so I think they're still trying - especially the coaching staff that hasn't seen me play a whole lot - they're trying to figure out where my skills are best suited, where my best positions are, where they feel most comfortable putting me.

"Buck (Showalter), at the end of the season, told me, 'Look, I'm comfortable putting you anywhere on the field,' but at the same time, that doesn't really mean he knows where my best positions are, so I think that has a lot to do with them bringing me in, what my skills are, how the play into the team and where I fit in."

Fox appeared in 11 games, and made seven starts, behind the plate after the Orioles acquired him from the Oakland Athletics on June 22 for minor league pitcher Ross Wolf. He appeared in 10 games at first base, also making seven starts. He also started once in left field and once at third base, and served as the designated hitter 10 times.

Fox had spoken to one member of the organization before arriving in camp - hitting coach Jim Presley.

"Basically, you see right there what my responsibility is. My responsibility is to hit the ball," Fox said. "But Buck knows I'll be ready for anything he throws at me. It was that way when I got there last year and I think that's one of the things he appreciates about me."

Fox could back up Wieters, but he'll have to beat out Tatum. They could co-exist if Fox is the second utility infielder.

"It kind of plays at a disadvantage to me because I'm a guy without a position. I don't have a primary position," Fox said. "I want to be an everyday player at some point. I think everybody has that goal. But in the current role I'm in, it's going to be tough because I bring a lot of value being able to play multiple positions. So, it's kind of a double-edge sword from the standpoint where, yeah, it puts me on the team and gives me an opportunity to go out there and play, but not on a consistent basis."

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