Where there's a need, there's Luke Scott

Luke Scott can fill practically whatever need the Orioles have and other news around Spring Training

INSIDE PITCH

Luke Scott's position changes each month. At this rate, he might be at second base by April.

In January, he was the designated hitter. In February, he was the left fielder. Now he's working at first base.

At the end of the day, Scott will be a key bat for the Orioles wherever his glove takes him. likely best suited to be a designated hitter, but he's serviceable in left field, where he was shifted on the depth chart when the club signed Vladimir Guerrero to be the designated hitter.

He's below-average at first base, but he might be the best in-house option if Derrek Lee's recovery from offseason wrist surgery continues to progress slowly.

Scott will still get time in left field as he prepares to play there regularly after serving primarily as a designated hitter in 2010.

The Orioles have other players capable of playing first base in Lee's absence, including third baseman/first baseman Josh Bell and catcher/first baseman Jake Fox -- both of whom are fighting for bench spots with the major-league club.

NOTES, QUOTES

--RHP Koji Uehara said he believed his family members in Japan are safe the day after an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami left the nation's coast in disaster. Uehara, who used e-mail to make contact with family, said there are some friends he was unable to reach. Uehara's wife and son are in Baltimore, The Sun reported, but the remainder of his family lives in or near Tokyo. Uehara's interpreter, Jiwon Bang, said his family in Japan is safe as well.

--RHP Jeremy Guthrie was hit hard in a recent outing, allowing four runs on six hits to the Phillies. Guthrie sounded positive after the outing, suggesting he was trying to work quickly and aggressively. He told reporters he feels good. In all likelihood, Guthrie is in line for another Opening Day start.

--LHP Troy Patton was among the first players optioned when the club made its first round of cuts. Patton, who had a shot to make the club as a reliever, was optioned to Class AAA Norfolk. He likely will pitch in the Tides' rotation, but could join the Orioles at some point this season in a long relief role.

--2B Ryan Adams may have the best opportunity of any of the lesser-known minor leaguers in camp with 2B Brian Roberts battling injuries. Adams homered on back-to-back days recently. INF Cesar Izturis and INF Brendan Ryan will also get time at second base. Adams, though not considered a front-line talent, is the club's top second-base prospect.

--OF Nolan Reimold has looked strong in camp after a less-than-stellar 2010 campaign. Reimold is swinging the bat well, and the general consensus in camp is that he's outplayed OF Felix Pie. The duo could share at-bats in left field if OF/1B Luke Scott is shifted to first base with 1B Derrek Lee nursing an ailing wrist. Reimold and Pie were believed to be battling for one roster spot, but the club could find a way to utilize both.

BY THE NUMBERS: 46 -- Players on camp roster after the first round of cuts.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "He's frustrated by it, so we want to see if we can get it solved." -- Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, on 2B Brian Roberts' injury.

ROSTER REPORT

ARRIVALS: RHP Kevin Gregg (free agent from Blue Jays), 1B Derrek Lee (free agent from Braves), RHP Jeremy Accardo (free agent from Blue Jays), 3B Mark Reynolds (trade with Diamondbacks), RHP Mitch Atkins (minor league free agent from Cubs), SS J.J. Hardy (trade with Twins), INF Brendan Harris (trade with Twins), LHP Clay Rapada (minor league free agent from Rangers), INF Nick Green (minor league free agent from Padres), RHP Justin Duchscherer (free agent from A's, pending physical), OF Jeff Fiorentino (minor league free agent, played in Japan in 2010), OF Randy Winn (minor league free agent from Cardinals), DH Vladimir Guerrero (free agent from Rangers).

DEPARTURES: INF Ty Wigginton (free agent, signed with Rockies), RHP David Hernandez (traded to Diamondbacks), RHP Kam Mickolio (traded to Diamondbacks), RHP Matt Albers (free agent, signed with Red Sox), INF Scott Moore (free agent, signed with minor league deal with Cubs), OF Corey Patterson (free agent, signed minor league deal with Blue Jays), 1B Michael Aubrey (free agent, signed minor league deal with Nationals).

PROJECTED ROTATION:

1. RHP Jeremy Guthrie

2. LHP Brian Matusz

3. RHP Justin Duchscherer

4. RHP Brad Bergesen

5. RHP Jake Arrieta

The Orioles' rotation is still young, but the addition of Duchscherer is expected to alleviate some expectations on the unproven raw arms. However, Duchscherer is a question mark, having missed much of the last two seasons because of injuries.

The Orioles have has some exciting depth at Class AAA Norfolk, including RHP Chris Tillman and LHP Zach Britton. Both will get an extended look in Sarasota, but expect -- barring injury -- that both will spend the first two or three months in the minors.

PROJECTED BULLPEN:

RHP Koji Uehara (closer)

RHP Kevin Gregg

RHP Jim Johnson

RHP Jeremy Accardo

RHP Jason Berken

LHP Mike Gonzalez

LHP Mark Hendrickson

Questions remain here. Who will close? Uehara likely gets the first crack after finishing 2010 nicely. He throws strikes, which earns him Buck Showalter's praise.

Gregg was signed to a big contract, though, so the club won't hesitate to go to him if Uehara sputters out of the gate. The identity of the second left-hander may not be determined until the final week of camp, and there are some right-handers with experience who might get a chance.

PROJECTED LINEUP:

1. 2B Brian Roberts

2. RF Nick Markakis

3. 1B Derrek Lee

4. DH Vladimir Guerrero

5. LF Luke Scott

6. 3B Mark Reynolds

7. CF Adam Jones

8. C Matt Wieters

9. SS J.J. Hardy

It's yet to be seen how Buck Showalter will deploy his newfound weapons. In all likelihood, Markakis will bat second or third to open the season. But no longer will he have to hit cleanup.

Reynolds, Jones and Wieters will be interchangeable in the Nos. 6-8 slots in the order. Jones could even hit ninth. He and Wieters are the wild cards for the Orioles lineup in 2011. Regardless of how things pan out, the club enters the spring with a formidable bottom-third of the lineup.

TOP ROOKIES: LHP Zach Britton probably is destined for Class AAA Norfolk. The consensus is, however, that he'll appear in Baltimore this year after going 7-3 with a 2.48 ERA in Class-AA Bowie and 3-4 with a 2.98 ERA in Class AAA Norfolk. C Caleb Joseph stands very little chance of making the club, but is earmarked as a potential back-up catcher of the future. He could use a good spring, after batting .235 with 11 home runs and 51 RBI at Class AA Bowie last season.

MEDICAL WATCH:

--RHP Koji Uehara (sore right elbow) had a cortisone shot March 3 and missed a scheduled Grapefruit League appearance that day. According to the Baltimore Sun, he should return to action within a week.

--LHP Brian Matusz (wart on left middle finger) was scheduled to have the growth removed March 4, and he is likely to miss a Grapefruit League start.

--2B Brian Roberts (back) had injections in his back and was to undergo an MRI. Roberts, who was limited to 59 games because of a back injury in 2010, was also scheduled to see the same back specialist he saw last year. The injections were expected to sideline him for several days.

--1B Derrek Lee (right wrist) is battling tendinitis, deemed to be a result of the rehab from an offseason surgery. He was expected to take a few days off.

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