03/03/12 5:38 PM ET
Hardy not going to change approach at plate
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
Hardy said he couldn't remember having hit a homer yet this spring, even in coaches' batting practice, but he took a fastball from right-hander Armando Galarraga over the left-field fence at Ed Smith Stadium on Saturday in the club's second intrasquad game. The shortstop erupted for 30 homers in 2011 despite hitting only 17 over the previous two seasons combined.
"Definitely a little bit of a surprise for me," Hardy said of Saturday's homer. "Obviously I'll take 'em, but I would definitely not even come close to saying I'm locked in. It's way too early for that. I don't want to be locked in yet."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter agreed, as he told Hardy, "Don't peak too early."
Hardy said he doesn't plan on changing his approach at all from last year, when he batted .269 with a .310 on-base percentage and .491 slugging percentage to go along with his 30 homers and 80 RBIs.
"Just having the confidence that that's what they want me to do makes it easier to swing through a pitch and not feel like everyone in the dugout is shaking their head like, 'What's he trying to do?'" Hardy said. "It just gives you that little bit of extra confidence that you can swing hard and try to drive the ball."
Reynolds off to good start with field work
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Mark Reynolds made two impressive plays at third base in Friday's intrasquad scrimmage, but he's hardly ready to let that go to his head.
Reynolds committed 26 errors at third base and five more at first last season, but he focused on getting himself in shape this offseason, hoping to become more agile and athletic in the field.
"My thinking doesn't change. Two of many, I hope," Reynolds said Saturday. "I'm going to keep working hard. I'm not going to shut it down just because I made a couple good plays. I've got to keep working at it, and I've got to keep getting more consistent over there. ... For us to be a winning ballclub, I've got to play good defense."
Reynolds said he might have done too much weightlifting work last offseason, leading to added pounds and bulk that kept him from moving as well as he could. So while he still did some lifting this winter, he also focused on plyometrics and cardio -- "lots of running," he said.
While he said he trained just to improve his conditioning and athleticism, he admitted defense was on his mind to a certain extent.
"Obviously it was a little bit, because I've got to be lighter and quicker and things like that, but I think it was just mostly for me to be in shape," he said.
He has actually stayed at roughly the same weight -- around 220 pounds, down from the 241 he started last spring at -- since August of last year. Losing weight then didn't have a noticeable impact on his hitting, so he's not worried about it affecting his offense now, either.
"I don't think 20 pounds is going to make a huge difference. It does, mobility-wise, but I don't think it does, strength-wise," Reynolds said. "I feel less stress on my legs. I'm not as sore at the end of the day. I just feel comfortable right now with my weight and everything. I think I feel it when I'm out there on my feet all day -- I feel a lot better, so hopefully that translates into playing a good third base."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said defense has been a point of emphasis all spring for Reynolds, and he didn't think last year's Reynolds would have made some of the plays he did Friday.
"That's a good start," Showalter said. "You'd like to see a guy get a return right out of the chute for some of the things that he really put emphasis on.
Bundy brothers impress in intrasquad action
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Right-hander Dylan Bundy pitched a perfect bottom of the fourth inning in Saturday's intrasquad game, which the visiting team won, 3-2. Bundy earned the usual rave reviews in the process.
Bundy, MLB.com's No. 10 overall prospect at 19 years old, struck out Adam Jones with an array of fastballs away, got Matt Wieters to pop out to right field, then froze Mark Reynolds with a curveball for his second strikeout of the inning.
"What's that saying? 'The sky's the limit'?" Jones said. "It's just a matter of what he wants to do. He's got great stuff, but he's going to have to go face some hitters. Some people are going to hit him. It's just a matter of how well he's going to react to that.
"My prediction is he just blows by the Minors, or should, in a couple years and be in the bigs. He's going to have to go out and face hitters and see them a second time, see them a third time and see them the next week. He's just going to have to get familiar with hitters on a daily basis. But the [guy] has got every tool possible. He's unbelievably athletic, so that helps out. He's only 19."
"You can see why people think highly of him," added Orioles manager Buck Showalter. "That's part of the whole process, getting used to it. That train's going to leave the station regardless of whether you try to hold it down or not, and I'm not. It's part of the things he needs to be exposed to."
Bundy has two more outings tentatively scheduled before he returns to Minor League camp.
"Then," Showalter deadpanned before giving way to a laugh, "he'll pitch against Minnesota in the home opener in Baltimore."
Bobby Bundy, Dylan's 22-year-old brother, also pitched a scoreless inning in Saturday's intrasquad game.
"He was good. You had to kind of blink to make sure they weren't the same guy," Showalter said. "I don't care how long you do this -- you do kind of take in the moment. You think of the father sitting there, both brothers are pitching professional baseball in a Major League camp -- that's pretty neat -- and legitimately worthy of it."
Zach Britton moved up his second bullpen session of the spring from Monday to Sunday. That's a good sign for the lefty, who has been dealing with left shoulder inflammation.
Right-hander Tommy Hunter (lower back stiffness) will also throw a bullpen session Sunday. He did long toss and threw from flat ground Friday. He was originally scheduled to pitch in Tuesday's game against the Red Sox, but that was switched to a simulated game.
Lefty Tsuyoshi Wada (left elbow inflammation) did not throw Saturday but said through an interpreter that he should play long toss Sunday, then determine when he will throw a bullpen session after that.
Left-hander Wei-Yei Chen seemed to struggle a bit as one of the starters in Saturday's scrimmage. He gave up a run on two singles, a walk and a sacrifice fly but also recorded one strikeout. Overall, Orioles manager Buck Showalter wasn't concerned about Chen's performance.
"It's a tough day to pitch with the wind, balance and everything," Showalter said. "I was impressed with him, his mound presence, thought there was deception in his delivery. He'll be fine. He's going to be a strike-thrower."
Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver was at Ed Smith Stadium on Saturday to take in the club's second intrasquad game.
Sunday will bring a lighter workload for the Orioles as they prepare for Monday, when their Grapefruit League schedule begins with split-squad games at Tampa Bay (1:05 p.m. ET) and against Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. ET on MLB.TV).
"It's another part of the progression," Showalter said. "We kind of control the environment here, but the other team's a big factor in the environment now."
Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.