Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts hit off a tee for about… (Baltimore Sun photo by Karl…)
SARASOTA, Fla. — As Orioles position players continue to trickle in ahead of the club's first full workout Friday, one player has been noticeably absent from the team's clubhouse.
And given the concussion symptoms that have limited second baseman Brian Roberts to 98 games the past two seasons, he is one of the biggest question marks in camp.
On Tuesday, the switch-hitting Roberts was spotted hitting balls from a tee for about 15 minutes in the team's indoor batting cages at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.
Upon exiting, Roberts said he would speak to the media Friday about his progress but said that other than hitting off a tee, he has been playing catch and doing light weightlifting.
"All a part of the progression," he said.
Roberts has yet to hit live batting practice, take grounders or do any running.
Under advisement of his doctors, Roberts missed last month's FanFest because it was feared that his attending would hinder his progression.
A Sarasota resident, Roberts said he has been working at the team's minor league facility at Twin Lakes Park as well as the Ed Smith Stadium complex.
Teagarden shaping up
Backup catcher Taylor Teagarden, acquired in the offseason to be a veteran reserve to Matt Wieters, said he's about 85 percent healthy after having two procedures on his right knee.
Teagarden had a Baker's cyst — a buildup of joint fluid — behind his right knee removed in November. Doctors had to perform another procedure in the knee to remove blood that was forming in the back of the knee and affecting his range of motion.
"That's all behind me now, and now it's just a strengthening phase and getting into baseball shape," Teagarden said. "It wasn't as smooth as planned, but they've done pictures of my knee and it's extremely healthy. Now it's just a matter of getting in shape and getting on the [exercise] bike, pretty much."
Britton, Johnson progress
A day after throwing 60 pitches (including 15 from his full delivery) Monday, left-hander Zach Britton did the same Tuesday, marking the first time he has had throwing sessions on consecutive days.
Britton, who has been suffering from shoulder inflammation, said he is progressing so well that he might veer away from scheduled back-to-back throwing sessions Thursday and Friday.
"I'm ahead of what they thought, so that's good news," Britton said. "But I think, for the most part, they just want to get my throws in, so if I'm throwing 70 throws a day, 80 throws a day, that's going to help me get on the mound sooner than if I'm throwing 200 feet, 25 throws. They'd rather get my throws up that count and then get off the mound."
Britton said he's hoping to throw off a mound by the middle of next week. He said the shoulder inflammation has subsided and he has full range of motion.
Right-hander Jim Johnson, who is dealing with a lower-back strain, also threw a side session Tuesday from a half mound that included 15 full pitches.
Around the horn
Catcher Dane Sardinha, a nonroster invitee, failed his physical and will not be in camp with the team. The team added minor league catcher Michael Ohlman, who is from nearby Bradenton, for to fill the void for now, but Showalter said the club would likely add another catcher from within by Friday. … Recently acquired reliever Matt Lindstrom seemed to be among the most impressive newcomers during bullpen sessions, especially with his velocity. … The organization completed biomechanical testing on the pitchers. Results are expected within 10 days. They will continue the procedures with the minor league pitchers. … Tuesday was left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada's 31st birthday, and the team sang "Happy Birthday" to him. … Wieters insisted on catching the bullpen sessions of newcomers Wada and Jason Hammel.