FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 22 -- Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kris Benson, who could miss the season with a partially torn rotator cuff, began rehabilitation on his ailing right shoulder on Thursday.
"I couldn't do anything yesterday because of the physical," Benson said. "Today, we just did some light dumbbell exercises, just trying to strengthen up everything around the rotator cuff. [Electronic stimulation] and ice tomorrow. Next few days will be the same, just increasing the weight slowly -- stick to program, add a few exercises. This is going to be all the same stuff that I've been doing. [Head trainer Richie Bancells] just wants me to pay real close attention to technique."
Benson likely will rehab the shoulder for at least four weeks before again deciding whether to have season-ending surgery. If Benson chooses not to have surgery, it's possible he could pitch the final month or two of the season.
"I'll be evaluating myself every day," Benson said. "I just want to make sure that every day I come to the park, I feel a little bit better. Hopefully, by week two, week three or week four, it will totally go away and we can start with the throwing program."
Who's on First?Jay Gibbons continues to take ground balls at first base. He also has worked out in left field. With right field taken by Nick Markakis, Gibbons is trying to find a new position. Baltimore Manager Sam Perlozzo "just wants me healthy," Gibbons said. "That's all he's kind of said to me. He just says every day is going to be different: 'You might be taking fly balls one day and ground balls the next day.' I'm the player, he's the manager. I listen."
At one point, Gibbons, Kevin Millar and Aubrey Huff all were taking grounders at first base. All three are represented by agents Seth and Sam Levinson.
"They've pretty much locked up Baltimore," Gibbons quipped. "But it would be pretty good to spread out your first basemen throughout the league. They're all on our team. Great. Thanks a lot, Sam."
'Best Seven Guys' WantedPerlozzo said he did not necessarily have to carry two left-handers in the bullpen.
"What you try to do is carry your best seven guys," Perlozzo said. "If your best seven guys can get a lefty out, then that's the way you want to go. It's a luxury when you have that guy. I would say that particular guy off of this club possibly being a long guy or a sixth-inning guy if you went that way. But we'll take the best arms we have, regardless of whether they are right-handed or left-handed."
Perlozzo said the team will have intrasquad scrimmages Tuesday and Wednesday. "We'll get some umpires on this field and give them six or seven innings in each game," Perlozzo said.