Orioles open camp under cloudy sky, murky outlook


SARASOTA, Fla. (AP) -- The dark clouds, swirling winds and threat of severe thunderstorms seemed like an appropriate backdrop Sunday for the Baltimore Orioles' first workout for pitchers and catchers.

The forecast for their 2012 season is bleak, and there's no clarity to their plans for the starting rotation.

It's going to be a wide-open competition, especially after the Orioles traded Jeremy Guthrie to the Colorado Rockies earlier this month.

Manager Buck Showalter says, "We have a lot of guys we haven't seen firsthand a lot, so that's going to be intriguing."

Starter Zach Britton and reliever Jim Johnson will be brought along slowly for health reasons. Britton is receiving treatment for inflammation in his left shoulder and Johnson is dealing with lower-back stiffness, but he threw on flat ground during Sunday's two-hour workout.