Orioles' All-Star trio makes Grapefruit League debuts

Orioles' All-Star trio makes Grapefruit League debuts

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles played the entire postseason last year without three All-Stars: Manny Machado, Matt Wieters and Chris Davis.

All three returned to the starting lineup for Wednesday's home opener at Ed Smith Stadium, though it wasn't enough to overtake the Detroit Tigers, who won the second of back-to-back games against the O's, 5-4.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Machado getting back to normal

All-Star third baseman played his first game since knee surgery last year

Machado getting back to normal

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Manny Machado has been saying since he arrived at camp this spring that he just wanted to get back to playing baseball.

On Wednesday, he finally got that chance.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gausman's short spring debut part of Orioles' plan

Gausman's short spring debut part of Orioles' plan

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Kevin Gausman's spring debut didn't last long, as the right-hander worked a scoreless first inning on 14 pitches in Wednesday's game against the Tigers. But that's all part of the Orioles' plan, as the club hopes the young right-hander can avoid getting shut down early again this season.

"Every year is a little bit different," said Gausman, who is in his third big league camp. "My first year I wanted to come into camp and show what I had. Possibly be an option for later in the year, knowing I wasn't going to make the team [and I] pitched well. Last year I came to camp [and] felt I had a good chance of making the rotation and then we signed Ubaldo [Jimenez]. So, it's one of those things. Every spring is going to be different.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O's announce starting assignments for Norris, Tillman

O's announce starting assignments for Norris, Tillman

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Bud Norris and Chris Tillman have yet to start a Grapefruit League game, but it was announced after the Orioles' 5-4 loss to the Tigers that Norris will start on Saturday against the Red Sox and Tillman vs. the Phillies on Monday.

Manager Buck Showalter said the pair was slowed on purpose to start the spring.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gamboa makes throwing knuckleball a priority

Gamboa makes throwing knuckleball a priority

SARASOTA, Fla. -- After manager Buck Showaltermade it a point to tell the media following Tuesday's game, that pitcher Eddie Gamboa should be throwing more knuckleballs, the right-hander has pledged to make it more of a priority.

"I need to start doing it more," said Gamboa, who gave up a three-run homer and an RBI triple on fastballs in the Orioles' 15-2 loss to the Tigers. "I've been throwing it for two years now, so I should be able to have a good groove for it. That's my primary pitch and that's why I'm here. The more I can throw it, the better, and I know it's going to get better with more experience. I got beat yesterday with fastballs, which is a terrible situation. But in a weird way, I'm happy to kind of get through that experience so I can prepare myself for what's to come in the future. And that's going to be throwing as many knuckleballs as I can."

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New delivery still a work in progress for Ubaldo

New delivery still a work in progress for Ubaldo

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Ubaldo Jimenez had hoped his new simplified delivery would lead to more success this season. It didn't start off well on Tuesday.

The inconsistent right-hander recorded four outs in his first Spring Training start against the Tigers, and he was charged with six runs (five earned) on two hits, two walks and two hit batsmen. Jimenez, whose throwing error resulted in a run one batter later, also had a wild pitch in the disappointing 42-pitch outing.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ubaldo, Orioles aim for better spring results

Ubaldo, Orioles aim for better spring results

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Yoenis Cespedes' first hit as a Tiger, a fourth-inning grand slam, was one of three Detroit home runs amidst a flurry of walks and four hit batters during a wild Grapefruit League opener for Orioles pitching in a 15-2 Detroit win on Tuesday at Joker Marchant Stadium.

The Tigers scored more runs in eight innings Tuesday than they scored in last October's three-game American League Division Series sweep by the Orioles. None of them count toward Detroit's end goal, of course, but it provided at least a glimpse of the offensive energy the team added in the offseason in an effort to rebound in 2015.

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Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O's announce Thursday's split-squad starters

O's announce Thursday's split-squad starters

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez will start Thursday's split-squad games, manager Buck Showalter said prior to Tuesday's Grapefruit League opener against the Tigers.

Chen will pitch the road game in Port Charlotte, Fla., against Nathan Karns and the Rays at 1:05 p.m. ET, while Gonzalez will stay at home for the Ed Smith Stadium contest on MLB.TV at 7:05 p.m. vs. Daniel Norris and the Blue Jays. Chen went 16-6 with a 3.54 ERA last season, and Gonzalez went 10-9 with a 3.23 ERA.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Showalter doesn't want Gamboa to shy away from knuckler

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Orioles right-hander Eddie Gamboa allowed four earned runs over two innings in Tuesday's 15-2 loss to the Tigers, and manager Buck Showalter wasn't happy that Gamboa didn't make frequent use of his knuckleball.

"He needs to decide if he's going to be a knuckleball pitcher or not," Showalter said of Gamboa, who allowed three hits and one walk, including a three-run homer to Aaron Westlake. "So hopefully we can use what happened today. ... I think as you go up higher levels, he's going to see why you have to throw knuckleballs. He had a good one today."

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Norris turns 30, eyes first 200-innings season

O's righty feels he's in best shape of career

Norris turns 30, eyes first 200-innings season

SARASOTA, Fla. -- When asked what number he'd most like to see on his baseball card a year from now, Bud Norris didn't hesitate.

"Two hundred," beamed the Orioles' birthday boy.

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Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Showalter: Young O's revere Hardy

Shortstop, along with infield mates, sharp in drills

Showalter: Young O's revere Hardy

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Midway through his team's Monday morning infield drills on the field known as Camden Yards South, Orioles manager Buck Showalter shared a tidbit about J.J. Hardy.

"You should hear our younger players when they talk about him," said Showalter of his Gold Glove shortstop. "They speak with reverence. Absolute reverence. That gives you an idea of his standing in the game right now."

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Michael Kolligian is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Former big leaguer McKnight dies; played for Mets and O's

Former big leaguer McKnight dies; played for Mets and O's

Former Major Leaguer Jeff McKnight passed away on Sunday after a 10-year battle with leukemia. He was 52.

McKnight spent parts of six seasons in the Majors, with the Mets and Orioles. He primarily played the infield but logged time at every position except center field and pitcher. He hit .233/.284/.304 through 218 career games.

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wieters gets behind plate for first time since surgery

Major milestone in Tommy John recovery comes in O's intrasquad game

Wieters gets behind plate for first time since surgery

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Matt Wieters crouched behind home plate at Ed Smith Stadium for the first two innings of the Orioles' intrasquad game Sunday afternoon, the first time he's caught a game since May 4. It was, without a doubt, a major moment in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

But Monday might bring an even bigger test.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nothing but positives for Showalter as team ramps up

Wieters, Machado return to action for Orioles in first intrasquad game

Nothing but positives for Showalter as team ramps up

SARASOTA, Fla. -- It wasn't exactly a full-blown exhibition game, with a five-out inning, two four-out innings and even a one-out inning -- and it ended in a 0-0 tie -- but manager Buck Showalter was pleased with the Orioles' first intrasquad game Sunday afternoon at Ed Smith Stadium.

The Orioles saw 12 pitchers take the mound, each of them for one inning, and every position player in camp except outfielder Henry Urrutia had a plate appearance. The defense was solid on both sides, particularly in the infield, and two of the club's stars -- Matt Wieters and Manny Machado -- were back on the field in a game-like setting for the first time in months.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O's take notice of Garcia in intrasquad game

Rule 5 Draft pick from Red Sox strikes out two in perfect inning

O's take notice of Garcia in intrasquad game

SARASOTA, Fla. -- It was easy to hear the sound of Jason Garcia's fastball popping into catcher Caleb Joseph's glove inside a mostly empty Ed Smith Stadium on Sunday afternoon. It wasn't hard to tell that he piqued a few of his teammates' interest, either.

"He got a couple of our guys from the bench up to the top step," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wright looking to put down roots in O's 'pen

Wright looking to put down roots in O's 'pen

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The numbers and transactions don't totally add up for left-hander Wesley Wright. He's been a solid, durable relief pitcher since 2011, and in that time he's been claimed off waivers once and non-tendered twice.

The Orioles signed the 30-year-old Wright this offseason to bolster their bullpen, adding another left-hander to the mix alongside Brian Matusz and closer Zach Britton. He was available this winter because he was not tendered a contract by the Cubs, who signed him after the Rays non-tendered him last winter.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

PR director remembered by Orioles in camp

Showalter says team "looks ready to play," ok with predictions of struggle for upcoming season

PR director remembered by Orioles in camp

SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles honored late public relations director Monica Barlow on Saturday, one year to the day after she passed away following a battle with lung cancer that lasted more than four years.

Orioles players, coaches and staff took the field Saturday wearing orange shirts for the LUNGevity Foundation, the nation's largest lung cancer-focused nonprofit for which Barlow was a spokesperson.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Davis gets in right-field reps

Davis gets in right-field reps

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Friday afternoon that Chris Davis would see some time in right field this spring. Sure enough, Davis spent Saturday's workout with the outfielders.

While most of the Orioles were warming up Saturday morning, Davis split off with first-base coach Wayne Kirby to field ground balls in right field and work on throwing from right to home plate. He rejoined the rest of the team to stretch before going through the rest of the day's drills with Baltimore's outfielders.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Britton doing his part to help strike out cancer

Britton doing his part to help strike out cancer

SARASOTA, Fla. -- When closer Zach Britton was contacted earlier this month to be the Orioles' representative for the "K Cancer" initiative, it was an easy choice.

Britton's grandmother, on his mother's side, passed away from ovarian cancer, as did his aunt. Then there's former O's public relations director Monica Barlow, who passed away one year ago Saturday due to complications from lung cancer.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

Duquette's focus remains on building the Orioles

Bloom: After nearly leaving for Toronto, O's vice-president is all about helping them win in '15

Duquette's focus remains on building the Orioles

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Dan Duquette has four years remaining on his contract as Orioles' executive vice-president of baseball operations, but his talks to take the position of club president in Toronto this past offseason were no mere flirtation. His relationship with the Blue Jays goes back.

"In 2009, I had expressed interest," Duquette said on Friday as the Orioles worked out on the backfields behind Ed Smith Stadium. "That was before I took the job with the Orioles. They were looking for somebody and I was looking for a job. I had expressed interest and had some conversations with them then."

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Orioles get loud during camp -- literally

Pumped-in crowd noise during fielding drill raises complaint from neighborhood

Orioles get loud during camp -- literally

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter put a new wrinkle on an old drill on Friday, pumping in crowd noise from last year's postseason as infielders practiced catching pop flies on the main field of Ed Smith Stadium.

"No, I've never heard of a baseball manager doing that before," said Dan Duquette, the Orioles' president of baseball operations, about the NFL-style drill. "I like the idea. It creates the expectation that we'll be playing in October."

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Orioles announce Gausman will start spring home opener

Orioles announce Gausman will start spring home opener

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter named his pitchers for an intrasquad game at Ed Smith Stadium on Sunday. In addition, he said that right-hander Kevin Gausman would start the second game of the Grapefruit League season on Wednesday, at home against the Tigers.

Showalter had previously announced that Ubaldo Jimenez would get the opener against the Tigers on Tuesday in Lakeland, Fla.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Ubaldo tabbed for Grapefruit League opener

Using simplified delivery, right-hander eyes bounce-back season

Ubaldo tabbed for Grapefruit League opener

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Ubaldo Jimenez will start the Orioles' first Grapefruit League game on Tuesday in Lakeland, Fla., against the Detroit Tigers, manager Buck Showalter announced on Thursday.

"Last year was tough," said Jimenez, who went 6-9 with a 4.81 ERA in the first season of a four-year, $50 million contract with Baltimore. "This is the beginning of 2015, and I'm excited to be part of the first game."

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jones shares thoughts on Markakis' remarks

SARASOTA, Fla. -- It didn't take long after Adam Jones walked in Thursday morning for the media to follow and ask for his reaction to former teammate Nick Markakis' comments in Wednesday's USA Today. The subject wasn't new -- it was widely reported this offseason that Baltimore didn't want to go more than three years on a contract for the free-agent outfielder because of concerns for his neck -- but clearly Markakis, who ended up signing with the Braves, is still harboring some resentment about the subject.

"Don't believe a word they say," Markakis told USA Today. "It was all because of my neck. They can say what they want to make them look good. It's all B.S."

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Davis believes he has something to prove in 2015

Orioles slugger attempting to rebound from down '14 season cut short by suspension

Davis believes he has something to prove in 2015

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Chris Davis' therapeutic-use exemption for the 2015 season is for the drug Vyvanse -- not Adderall -- the first baseman said Wednesday morning, confirming an earlier report by FOXSports.com.

"It's basically a more sophisticated version of Adderall, and it's kind of the new thing, the way it's introduced to the body," Davis said. "I like the way it works and I think it's something that's helped me away from baseball, and hopefully it will continue to help me."

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cabrera ready to prove his worth to Orioles

Cabrera ready to prove his worth to Orioles

SARASOTA, Fla. -- New Orioles infielder Everth Cabrera has reached a plea agreement stemming from a resisting arrest charge in September, and will be eligible to play in 2015 while on probation.

Cabrera, who will wear No. 1, paid a fine and will have to do community service, according to Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette.

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Machado's right knee OK, a full-go in camp

Third baseman has no restrictions, anxious to get numerous at-bats this spring

Machado's right knee OK, a full-go in camp

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Manny Machado was one of numerous Orioles who arrived in camp early, and the 22-year-old is incredibly anxious for Spring Training to begin. Coming off his second consecutive season-ending knee surgery, Machado is a full-go in camp this time around and there isn't anything baseball-wise he isn't allowed to do.

"I see it like my first Spring Training again," Machado said to the media scrum that gathered around his locker on Tuesday. "I'm that excited."

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Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.