Showalter to kick off Orioles' full-squad workouts Monday

Club restricts pitching prospect Lebron to throwing from flat ground

February 20, 2011|By Peter Schmuck and Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun

SARASOTA, Fla. — After a week of workouts designed primarily for the pitchers and catchers, the Orioles will hold their first full-squad workout Monday at the Ed Smith Stadium spring training complex.

Manager Buck Showalter said Sunday that the workouts probably won't be in full gear until Tuesday, however, since the medical staff will be completing physicals early Monday and the coaches will need some time to lay out the training routine for the position players.

Showalter was scheduled to assemble the entire team Sunday night for an introductory get-together and team-building exercise. He declined to reveal his specific plans, but he has been known to do some interesting things to fire up his team early in camp.

It's not like there will be a sudden influx of position players. Almost all the non-catching position players have reported to camp and worked out at some point over the past week. The only ones who hadn't physically shown up at the complex by the end of Sunday's brief workout were right fielder Nick Markakis and infield prospect Pedro Florimon, and both are expected to be in uniform on Monday.

Taking it slow

Not wanting pitching prospect Luis Lebron to do too much too soon, Showalter said the right-handed reliever will throw only from flat ground for the time being. Lebron, who had Tommy John elbow ligament-reconstruction surgery in May, has thrown two bullpen sessions from the mound since arriving at spring training, but the club has decided to back off him.

"It's not a setback," Showalter said. "Nothing is hurting or anything. We just don't think he's quite ready. In this environment with people throwing, you could tell that he might feel like there's an allure to push himself, and he shouldn't. He's come so far. So you won't see him throwing off the rubber."

Also, nonroster invitee Mitch Atkins was sent home before Sunday's workout with a stomach illness. Atkins had already been sidelined with a left oblique strain.

Twin Lakes: rave reviews

Most of the attention that has been garnered by the renovations to the Orioles' spring training home has been focused on the progress of the Ed Smith Stadium project, but everybody in the baseball operations department is raving about the newly renovated minor league facility at Twin Lakes Park.

The Orioles split their minor league operation between Twin Lakes and the major league camp last year, with the Rookie-level and Single-A players stationed at the minor league facility and the Double-A and Triple-A players at Ed Smith Stadium.

Showalter indicated Sunday that the refurbished Twin Lakes Park is adequate for all four levels of the minor league system, though he stopped short of saying that the Double-A and Triple-A players would be based there in the future.

Around the horn

The Orioles will play an intrasquad game Sunday, the day before they open the Grapefruit League schedule against Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field in Bradenton. It will be a split-squad game for the Pirates, who also will face the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte that day. The first Orioles game at Ed Smith Stadium will be March 1 against the Rays.

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