02/17/2013 5:00 PM ET
Buck discusses plans for Roberts and Hardy
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Brian Roberts told reporters on Friday that he wanted to play as much as possible this spring, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter seems to agree.
"We've gone over the whole spring, we've sat down multiple times," Showalter said of Roberts, who is further along this camp than he has been in the previous two springs. "He will have a pair of [road] gray pants in his locker, unlike some of our guys.
"He wants to play as much as I'm willing to play him, [we're] going to emphasize the last seven to 10 days, I'm not going to beat him up, he's still getting ready for the season. But he will get more at-bats than he normally does in the spring."
Showalter was coy regarding whether Roberts would bat leadoff, but he did acknowledge that he'd like to move shortstop J.J. Hardy out of the second spot.
"I think his skill set serves him better and our team better somewhere else, but I'm not committed to that yet," Showalter said of Hardy, who hit .236/.281/.380 in 150 games out of the two-hole. "Just like last year he was our best option there, he did a good job for us. But I think we could put him in a better position to do what he does best if I can get him down [in the lineup] some. It's one of the things I'm hoping we feel comfortable doing when we break here."
Jurrjens is happy with first bullpen session
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Jair Jurrjens threw his first bullpen session with the Orioles on Sunday morning, and the right-hander was pleased with the approximately 45-pitch session.
"I'm still trying to get my windup, I feel like there's stuff I need to fix in it," Jurrjens said. "But I feel really good about what's coming out. And the main thing is, I'm pain free."
Jurrjens said he's trying to get back to his mechanics from before his right knee injury, and he's thrown a lot of bullpens -- he estimated around 15 -- this offseason to prove he's healthy.
"We're at the point now where we're seeing if he's favoring the knee or whatever," manager Buck Showalter said of Jurrjens. "[Pitching coach] Rick [Adair] and I were talking about getting some tape pulled up when he was right and when he was struggling [to] see what the difference is -- see how the knee may have affected his mechanics.
"This guy at one time had outstanding command. Most of the problems he had can be traced to the issues he had with his knee. So, we'll see."
Jurrjens expects to be ready to pitch in spring games once they start on Saturday, and said it was helpful to be in camp and have coaches able to watch and give feedback.
"The stronger I get, I think the mechanics will come quicker and the more comfortable I'll get on the mound," Jurrjens said. "It's going to be more of a mind game for myself to trust myself and trust what I'm doing to get stronger and just going out there and try to have fun again."
Jurrjens was among a group of Orioles pitchers who threw with hitters in the batter's box tracking (not swinging) on Sunday in the covered batting-cage area. Those who threw were Jurrjens, Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, Todd Redmond, Dylan Bundy, Zach Clark, Mike Wright, Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Adam Russell, Steve Johnson and T.J. McFarland.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.