SARASOTA, Fla. - Brian Roberts showed up today, according to manager Buck Showalter, who told reporters that the second baseman had a good look on his face and seemed upbeat.
Outfielders Nolan Reimold and Scott Beerer also are in camp, and they have a very similar look.
Beerer is the early favorite to beat Reimold in a sprint, which is interesting. You've seen how fast Reimold gets down the line. I'm sure a match-race is in the works.
Left-hander Ryan Edell, signed to a minor league deal, hasn't reported to camp and might retire.
Tomorrow's workout will begin at noon. The forecast calls for thunderstorms, and Showalter is monitoring the Weather Channel.
Just confirming that Jai Miller does, indeed, pronounce his first name as "Jay."
The Orioles pretty much gave up on reacquiring Koji Uehara because of the Rangers' demands, which includes salary relief. The Athletics remain the favorites to trade for him.
Showalter has 30 pitchers in camp, not counting Edell, and a wide-open competition for rotation spots.
"It's just a matter of shaking it out. I'm looking forward to it," Showalter said. "We have potential there and a lot of optional people if they can't do it. A lot of different ways to go. And there's depth there. The big thing now is getting everybody healthy and ready to go."
Now that Zach Britton has successfully completed another long-toss session, he'll take off Sunday and resume throwing Monday and Tuesday. Rest will come on Wednesday, following by sessions on Thursday and Friday.
Britton's primary challenge beyond winning a spot in the rotation is preventing the inflammation from cropping up in his left shoulder. It's mostly been a losing battle so far.
As you probably know, Britton tried throwing in mid-December and experienced discomfort in his shoulder that led the Orioles to schedule an MRI, which didn't reveal any structural damage.
"We didn't know what it was and we hadn't done the MRI yet," he said. "Everyone was like, 'Oh, it's just inflammation,' but I felt like if it was inflammation, it should go away with medication. It wasn't really doing that at first. We went and had the MRI done and it came back with good results other than there was a lot of inflammation in the shoulder. They put me on some medication and ever since then it's been good. Hopefully, it stays like that."
Britton said he didn't notice the discomfort until he attempted to throw. He could handle normal activities around the house, "which was really weird. I didn't understand why," he said.
Britton contacted head athletic trainer Richie Bancells and was examined by team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens. The MRI brought a lot of angst until he learned the results.
"I was thinking the worst because I had never had a shoulder problem before," he said.
Britton has been told the inflammation is due to years of pitching.
"Some guys get it when they're 16, some guys get it when they're 30, 40," Britton said. "It just depends on a person's body."
I'm predicting that Jason Hammel will turn out to be one of my favorite players in the clubhouse. Extremely nice, personable, good sense of humor.
The Orioles acquired Hammel and reliever Matt Lindstrom from the Rockies for pitcher Jeremy Guthrie.
"It was a pretty wild week when it happened, obviously, because a week before spring training, it's difficult to change your plans," he said. "It basically flips your world upside down because we were all set for everything being in Arizona and Denver. But I'm coming to a good group of guys here and meeting a bunch of new people and making some new friendships on a team that's made some changes, so I'm really excited."
Hammel doesn't assume that he's a lock to make the rotation. He's been thrown into the competition.
"That's the way I approach every spring, whether I've got a seven-year deal or a one-year deal. It doesn't matter," he said. "I'm a big proponent of earning your places. Nothing should be given to you, so obviously I'm going in with the mindset of winning a job. It hasn't been given to me."
One of Hammel's tasks will be to find a comfort zone - as well as the strike zone - with catcher Matt Wieters.
"I've heard great things," Hammel said. "Obviously, he's big, so he's going to be able to block some balls from getting away. I've heard he calls a real good game. He's a young kid, so obviously it will take a little bit of time to get used to him, but it's a challenge that I think we're both accepting and will have a lot of fun with."
Hammel's only 29, but he's one of the veterans on this staff.
"It's pretty crazy that at 29 I'd be one of the old guys," he said, smiling. "I've seen other guys in the same position when I was a young kid. I'm still young, but the guys really reached out and tried hard to be a leader at that age. That's exactly what I'm going to do. Whatever my role is, I want to be a leader. I remember at the end of the year with the Rockies, knowing that the next year it would be a pretty young rotation there. I'm just going to try to give out whatever advice and experience I can hand out, so any help I can get from them back is also going to be a big bonus."
Chris Tillman remains one of the younger guys at 23.
"It's good to be here," he said. "I've been here for a couple days, getting myself ready, getting used to the humidity. It's been fun."
Is he looking forward to the competition?
"Absolutely," he replied. "I think competition is what fuels everything. It's going to be a fun camp. I know I'm excited. I think that goes for most people."
Tillman said he "learned a lot" last season while going 3-5 with a 5.52 ERA in 13 starts with the Orioles and 3-6 with a 5.19 ERA in 15 starts with Triple-A Norfolk.
"It definitely was a long year, not the year I expected, but I think this offseason was good for me," he said. "We got in pretty good shape and I think I'm mentally where I need to be right now, so I'm very excited."
Asked if he's making any changes to his repertoire, Tillman replied, "Nothing yet. Just doing my strength and conditioning so far. Being able to repeat my delivery, that's what we've been working on. It's been a good offseason. I've learned a lot in the weight room and what I can do physically, conditioning-wise, so I think it's pushing me that much farther."