Quick hits from camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - Second baseman Brian Roberts met with reporters after today's workout. I'll post quotes later.

Roberts said he's "feeling pretty good in general," but he can't offer a timetable for when he'll be ready to play in an exhibition game. He's limited to "beginning" baseball activities. It's a "systematic progression" for Roberts.

"Every day that goes by, you're more encouraged," he said.

Jason Berken has a mild strain of his left hamstring, which he sustained while running sprints toward the end of Thursday's workout. He's receiving treatment to reduce the inflammation. No baseball activities.

Berken said he's not overly concerned, but conceded that the injury is more significant than a "next day" return. He doesn't believe that he'll miss an extended period of camp.

Nick Markakis took batting practice today and said he felt great. He's still not full-go. The Orioles are being careful with him, limiting his swings and how many fly balls he shags.

Reliever Willie Eyre felt some tightness in his right groin area while warming up and walked off the mound. He said it was more of a precaution. He tore a groin muscle a few years ago and wasn't taking any chances.

Unfortunately, I have to close this entry with some tragic news. I'm told that former Orioles reliever Terry Mathews died of a heart attack at age 47. He leaves behind a wife and three kids.

Mathews pitched for the Orioles from 1996 to 1998. He was, without question, one of the nicest individuals I've ever known. A sweet, gentle man.

RIP Terry.

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