By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 17, 2008
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 16 -- Scott Moore's only extended professional experience in the outfield came at Class AAA Iowa, where he played about 20 games as a Chicago Cubs farmhand. But on Saturday, Moore could be found fighting the South Florida sunshine and shagging fly balls during batting practice.
"Anywhere I can find a spot to play," said Moore, who reported early for camp. "The more positions I can play, the better opportunity I'll have to get into the game."
Moore, who was acquired late last season from the Cubs in the Steve Trachsel trade, is one of two infielders trying to bolster his chances of making the Opening Day roster.
Mike Costanzo, 24, came to camp early to work as a catcher. Costanzo hit .270 with 27 homers at Class AA Reading last season. The Orioles acquired him in December from the Houston Astros in the Miguel Tejada trade.
"We're asking both those guys to do something similar," Orioles Manager Dave Trembley said.
Of the five position players who have reported to camp before Tuesday's deadline, three are outfielders, an indication of how tight the competition could become. Former independent leaguer Tike Redman and non-roster invitee Chris Roberson also are in camp, joining utility player Aubrey Huff as early arrivals.
Veteran Jay Payton, who hit .256 in 131 games for the Orioles last season, also reported to spring training on Saturday.
"I'm going to have to talk to him and tell him what I see his role as being coming into camp," Trembley said of Payton. "I know he's got some concern about that, especially after we've acquired Scott and now that we've acquired [Adam] Jones. But I'll sit down and talk to him and we'll exchange some ideas."
Trembley said Jones -- acquired from the Seattle Mariners earlier this month as part of the Erik Bedard trade -- likely won't take a prominent spot in the batting order early in the season.
"I'd like to see him swing the bat a little bit and get some feedback from some of the coaches," Trembley said. "But I don't see him the first part of the season hitting in the three or four spot."