FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Reliever George Sherrill was shut down yesterday after tweaking his right hamstring during Friday morning's workout, and he will likely remain inactive for a few more days as a precaution.
Sherrill felt his hamstring tighten as he covered first base during a drill on the back fields. He walked to the clubhouse with assistant athletic trainer Brian Ebel and received treatment before leaving the ballpark.
"It should be a few days and I'll be back," he said. "It's so soon, I'll just take today completely off, and we'll go from there."
Head athletic trainer Richie Bancells told manager Dave Trembley that the strain is "very mild."
Sherrill, who is expected to begin the season as the Orioles' closer, is scheduled to pitch in Thursday's exhibition opener.
"Thursday is the most important," he said. "I'm really not too worried about the next few days. Just make sure that I get it completely healthy and don't do anything stupid trying to come back too quick and hurt it worse."
For the first time in his professional career, infielder Brandon Fahey arrived at camp figuring he had a chance to win a starting job.
Now he has to go out and do it.
Fahey is trying to replace Miguel Tejada at shortstop - the same goal set by Luis Hernandez and Freddie Bynum. Fahey appeared in 91 games with the Orioles in 2006 but only 40 last season, and his batting average fell from .235 to .167.
Hernandez is regarded as the favorite to be in the Opening Day lineup, though Fahey brings similar skills.
"I'm just coming to camp and doing whatever they tell me to do, play wherever they tell me to play, and work out wherever they want me to work out. That's the way I look at it," Fahey said.
"When [Tejada] got traded, the first thing that came to mind was: `Man, they traded him. I might have a shot at being the shortstop.' I didn't know if they'd get somebody else, but they haven't gotten anybody yet, so that spot's still open."
Reliever Jim Hoey isn't aiming to win a setup job with the Orioles. He looks around the clubhouse and figures it's too crowded.
"We pretty much already have established pitchers there for the later innings," he said. "I'm just going to go out here and pitch my best, and if they start throwing me toward the end of the game and that's where I start to adapt, I'm fine with that. That's where I'm comfortable."
Hoey hasn't always been comfortable in the majors. He made the improbable jump from low Single-A Delmarva to the Orioles in 2006 and posted a 10.24 ERA in 12 games. He was 3-4 with a 7.30 ERA in 23 appearances last season and experienced occasional lapses in confidence.
The Orioles recalled Hoey on June 16, and he allowed three runs in two-thirds of an inning before being optioned to Triple-A Norfolk three days later. He returned Aug. 9 and didn't permit a run in his first six outings but gave up 14 runs in his next 4 1/3 innings.
"Every time you're up there, it's a learning experience, especially toward the end," said Hoey, who didn't allow a run in 18 2/3 innings at Double-A Bowie last year and was 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA at Norfolk. "The second part, when I went back up there, I thought I did pretty well."
Hoey got married over the winter and spent his honeymoon in St. Thomas. But his mind is back on baseball.
"I think we have three open spots left and a bunch of great pitchers here who have a chance to make it," he said, "so I have to compete along with them."