SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) — Baltimore Orioles pitchers and catchers took the field late Friday morning, and even though it's something Buck Showalter has been through countless times before, every year it's special for him.
"It's a fun day. It's fun for everybody," Showalter said. "It's a beautiful day. I can't tell you how many times I look out there and say, 'We get paid for this?'"
The Orioles have had a tumultuous offseason.
Gone are longtime second baseman Brian Roberts, left fielder Nate McLouth and closer Jim Johnson. Their replacements aren't necessarily obvious.
There are many new players on hand, and another, South Korean pitcher Suk-min Yoon, who took his physical on Friday and already has a locker in the clubhouse, could join the team soon.
Several of Baltimore's regulars are already here. Besides catcher Matt Wieters, outfielders Adam Jones and Nick Markakis and first baseman Chris Davis reported early.
Third baseman Manny Machado, who is recovering from October surgery on his left knee, hasn't been spotted. He won't play in spring games before mid-March and perhaps beyond that.
Showalter said he'll need about two weeks of games before he's ready to play. The Orioles' opener is March 31 against Boston.
"I'm not going to ask Manny every day, 'how you feel now? How you feel now?'" Showalter said.
"We're not going to get involved in that schedule. It's not productive on Manny mentally. He's worth waiting on. When he's right, he'll play. I'm glad that we think what we've done, and he's done, we don't have to worry about in May or June, a missed step, and something's happened."