Who's On First? Scott Has Hopes



O's Would Like To See If His Versatility Works Out

Next Few Weeks Expected To Tell

August 20, 2009|By Dan Connolly | Dan Connolly,dan.connolly@baltsun.com

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Luke Scott figures he has the next six weeks to show the Orioles whether he can play first base at the big league level.

If he succeeds, it'll be a win-win situation. Scott would add versatility to his resume, and the Orioles theoretically would have one less hole to fill this offseason.

"Anytime you can have another position, the only thing it can do is benefit you," said Scott, who started at first base Wednesday for the second time in three games since Aubrey Huff was traded to the Detroit Tigers.

Scott, normally an outfielder, hasn't played first base consistently since he was a junior at Oklahoma State.

"At first base, you are in the action," Scott said. "There is a lot more going on, and the ball gets on you quicker. It's just a different game."

Ultimately, Scott said, he doesn't care where he plays as long as he is in the lineup. At the beginning of the season, he bristled at the idea of primarily being a designated hitter. Now, he embraces hitting-only days.

"I like to play the field and play defense, but I also appreciate DHing," said Scott, who has been taking pre-game ground balls at first since spring training. "There are days when you get tired, when you are out there in bad elements and you appreciate DHing."

Orioles manager Dave Trembley said it's too early to make any judgment on Scott's potential at first base.

"I need to see him play," Trembley said. "I need to see him handle routine plays and not just catch-and-throws from the infield."

It's possible, Trembley said, that Scott could develop into a player who shuttles from left field to first base to DH based on need and matchups.

"I think in the coming weeks that will be determined by how he plays first base," Trembley said. "I think he will answer that question himself for us. I think the more versatile he is, the better. I think that's good for anybody."

Quick turnaround

Reliever Kam Mickolio was promoted to the big leagues for the third time this season Tuesday and immediately made his first major league appearance since Aug. 1. He pitched two hitless innings, struck out four and earned the praise of his manager.

Trembley said Mickolio, 6 feet 9, has altered his delivery so he's more direct to the plate and his windup isn't as herky-jerky.

"His delivery has improved tremendously," Trembley said. "He had overpowering stuff [Tuesday] night. He had a mid-90s fastball with movement, his slider was good and he's got to look intimidating to right-handed hitters."

Mickolio hasn't allowed a run in five big league appearances this season, spanning 6 2/3 innings.

Bergesen aims to throw today

Brad Bergesen, who suffered a bruised left shin when hit by a comebacker July 30, visited with Orioles teammates before Wednesday's game and said he hopes to be able to throw from flat ground today for the first time since leaving Baltimore.

"I am hoping that is the case," said Bergesen, who is doing his injury rehabilitation at the club's minor league complex in nearby Sarasota. "We will evaluate, and if I can, we'll try it out. If not, it might take another day or two."

Bergesen, who attended the game with two other injured Orioles, pitcher Rich Hill and outfielder Lou Montanez, said he still feels soreness in the leg but plans to pitch for the Orioles next month.

Around the horn

Orioles second-round pick Mychal Givens, a high school shortstop from Tampa, took and passed his physical Wednesday and is expected to attend tonight's game at Tropicana Field. ... The team's 11th-rounder, Michael Ohlman, a high school catcher from Bradenton, was at Wednesday's game as a guest of the Orioles. ... The Orioles' Saturday, Sept. 5, home game against the Texas Rangers has been changed from a 7:05 p.m. first pitch to 4:10 p.m. to accommodate TV. It is now a Fox regional broadcast and will not be televised on MASN2. ... Closer Jim Johnson will rejoin the team today after missing two games because of the birth Tuesday in Baltimore of his first child, Abigail Grace.

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