Notes: Wright's debut a workout

Notes: Wright's debut a workout

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- In his Orioles spring debut, Jaret Wright didn't have his best command and only pitched one inning on Sunday. The right-hander walked the leadoff batter and survived an error later in the inning. Wright, who has had two operations on his throwing shoulder, said it was enough of a workout for his first start of the spring.

"It's kind of give-and-take," he said while holding his son, Gunner. "I don't want to have runners all over the bases and scoring runs, but it's still getting your work in.

"The last time I had been in a game was last year, so it's kind of getting the rust off."

Wright, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Yankees for reliever Chris Britton, will take the ball in another five days. The Orioles are counting on him to provide a steady presence to complement the team's young arms. Wright, the son of former big leaguer Clyde Wright, previously worked with pitching coach Leo Mazzone in Atlanta.

"We were a little worried about him, but adrenaline kicked in," said manager Sam Perlozzo, who turned 56 on Sunday. "His arm's trying to get up to strength, and we wanted to make sure he was going to be OK. We got him through one inning and he threw the ball really well. Actually, it was much better than he expected."

Newhan returns as a Met: The scene was too puzzling for a manager to ignore. Utilityman David Newhan stood outside the visiting clubhouse on Sunday, surrounded by reporters that cover his former team. As the Mets walked onto the field, manager Willie Randolph made a point to stop, smile and duck his head into the group interview.

"[Wow], what is this?" he joked before moving on.

Soon enough, Randolph will find out why Newhan is popular with the press. The part-time outfielder is well known for speaking his mind, which has alternately earned him kudos and gotten him in trouble at various times in his well-traveled career. Now, he's moving to the sport's media capital, which could make for interesting copy.

"That's a little too much bank for me," Newhan said of living in Manhattan. "We're going to try to enjoy the city and take advantage of it. It's a big stage, and the people are fanatical about their team. When you're going good, I don't think there's a better place on earth to be, but they're going to let you have it when you deserve it."

Newhan, son of prominent sportswriter Ross Newhan, has been trying to carve out a big-league career for most of the last decade. The former Pepperdine star got his first taste of big-league action in 1999, but he didn't get his first full-time look until 2004, when he hit .311 with eight home runs in 95 games with the Orioles.

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That star turn was diluted by a .202 average in 2005 and an injury-shortened year in '06, when he spent more than three months on the disabled list with a broken right fibula. Newhan rehabbed that injury and came back in September, but when the offseason started, he found out that he really wasn't a part of Baltimore's long-term plans.

"I was disappointed not to come back. I enjoyed my time there," he said. "Camden Yards is a great place to show up to work every day. I love the guys on the team and had a good relationship with everyone. It looks like they turned the page, made some good moves and tried to shore up some areas they needed to do."

The left-handed hitter came into Sunday's game with a team-high six RBIs and reached base safely in each of his first two at-bats. Newhan started at third base -- a position normally occupied by All-Star David Wright -- and knows that if he makes the team, he'll be expected to bounce between positions all season long.

"I see myself playing a role off the bench," he said. "Obviously, doing that in the National League means a little more playing time. ... I'm on the roster right now, so it's just a matter of getting work in and bouncing around. There may be a few double-switches, but with our lineup, I don't think that will be happening often."

The group interviews might not happen often either, but if Randolph has any questions about Newhan's appeal, he can direct them to the scrappy reserve's last manager.

"I love David," added Perlozzo. "If you can give us more than 100 percent, he was the guy that gave it. He was always one of the guys that I appreciated his work ethic and how he went about his business."

Sightings: Former player and coach Rick Dempsey arrived in camp on Sunday and is expected to fill a dual role for the rest of the spring. Dempsey signed on as an analyst and studio host for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network for the regular season, but he'll spend Spring Training as a guest instructor and part-time batting practice pitcher.

"I'm just here to do whatever the ballclub wants me to do. [I'll] throw batting practice, hit ground balls, run around, whatever," he said. "It's just to get to know a lot of the new guys."

Dempsey said it will be weird to be out of uniform, but it's something he's been anticipating for quite some time.

"One step at a time. We'll see how it goes," he said. "I hate being away from the field, but I'll always be in touch with it some way."

Bumps and bruises: Catcher Paul Bako is out with a right oblique injury and will likely return next week. Pitcher Hayden Penn threw a bullpen session Sunday and is expected to get two days off before pitching his first game.

Quotable: "The city's great. It has everything to offer. You can do anything, but five minutes later, everyone's going to know what you were doing." -- Newhan, on the positives and negatives of living in New York

Coming up: The Orioles will take on the Marlins on Monday at 1:05 p.m. ET at Fort Lauderdale Stadium, and Adam Loewen will be matched up against Florida's Chris George. Loewen is the last of Baltimore's starters to make a spring outing.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.