SARASOTA, FLA. — The Orioles undoubtedly were hoping that Miguel Tejada would report to training camp early this spring to begin the transition from shortstop to third base, but he was one of only a small handful of players who have not yet made an appearance at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.
O's officials say that's no big deal. The first full-squad workout is scheduled for today and that's when players are required to be here. Many position players report before that, but they aren't required to and clubs are not allowed to pressure them to come in before the official reporting date.
"It's a long spring and I don't think there's any need for that kind of stuff," manager Dave Trembley said. "They'll show up when they have to and be here. Tomorrow's the first day. He'll be here. He's knows everybody. He knows us. We know him."
Tejada is famous for being the last guy in the door, but the Orioles aren't concerned about the amount of time he'll need to get comfortable at third base. Trembley said infield coach Juan Samuel has developed a plan for Tejada to get extra work either before or after the team works out each day.
His teammate on the left side of the infield, Cesar Izturis, reported to camp on Monday and said he doesn't think Tejada will have much trouble making the switch.
"Everybody knows that he can play," Izturis said. "It's a new position, but I don't think there's going to be any problem. If I can help out, I will. But he's been around for a while. He knows how to play the game. I think he played third base in Dominican, in the Caribbean Series. I would think that he's not going to have a problem."
Tillman backs off
Right-hander Chris Tillman did not throw his bullpen session on Monday. He left the field on Sunday with a sore back and said that he was still stiff when he woke up on Monday morning.
"It's pretty much exactly the same (as Sunday)," he said. "Now that I did some things today to loosen up a little bit, but when I woke up today it was pretty tight."
Tillman said that he probably could have thrown, but he and the club obviously thought it would be better if he didn't risk aggravating the problem.
"I think it would be dumb on my part,'' he said. "It is the fifth day of spring."
Trembley said Tillman has already thrown a series of bullpen sessions before camp opened and isn't likely to fall behind because of the lower back discomfort.
Former McDonough High pitcher Brandon Erbe has made a good first impression on the coaching staff. Trembley had nothing but praise for him after seeing his early work on the practice mounds.
"That was something," Trembley said Monday. "He threw 35 pitches, and I was talking to (catcher Caleb) Joseph, and he said he (Erbe) didn't throw two pitches that weren't down. He has really cleaned up his delivery. That was impressive. He has worked very hard."
Brad Bergesen is expected to throw off flat ground today and already may be getting close to testing his sore shoulder on a mound.
"It's going to be hard to hold him back," Trembley said. "If he does well tomorrow, and I fully expect him to do well, he'll be just around the corner from getting on the mound."