Orioles' Mahoney Ready To Leave Injuries In The Past

SARASOTA, Fla.—First baseman Joe Mahoney is expected to begin the 2012 season on Triple-A Norfolk's roster. He just wants to make sure it's the active roster and not the disabled list.

Health has been an issue for Mahoney, who stands 6-feet-6, 240 pounds. He fouled a ball off his knee during an intrasquad game last spring and pulled his hamstring at Double-A Bowie. He strained an oblique while taking batting practice in the Arizona Fall League.

"The nagging injuries have got to stop," said Mahoney, who batted .289/.344/.502 with 11 home runs in 315 at-bats with Bowie. "Hopefully, I got them all out of the way last year. I changed some things up this offseason and just got into running a lot more, and just staying healthy, not trying to overdo it in the weight room and overdoing it with certain stuff. And it's worked great so far. I feel great."

The Orioles optioned Mahoney, 25, to Norfolk midway through spring training, but his locker remained at the major league complex and he still appeared in major league games. He's clearly in the organization's plans, and the Orioles made room for him at Norfolk by trading 2005 first-round pick Brandon Snyder to the Rangers.

"It was a good thing for me, and Brandon's got a good opportunity in Texas," Mahoney said. "Obviously, I look at that like, 'All right, I'll be in Norfolk,' and if anything happens in the big leagues or they need me up there, hopefully I can go up there and put up the numbers I've been putting up in the minors."

The major league first base competition came down to Chris Davis and Nick Johnson, and both will probably be on the Opening Day roster as long as Johnson is healthy. Mahoney will have to wait his turn.

He'll also have to accept that Harbor Park in Norfolk can work a hitter's last nerve, as it often did with Snyder. "I've heard ghost stories and all that stuff
. . ." he said. "I'm not too worried."

Bird Seed

• Catcher Michael Olhman will rehab his injured right shoulder rather than have surgery following a spring traffic accident. Olhman's truck flipped three times, landing on its roof, after a driver cut him off in Sarasota.

•  Major league Rule 5 draft pick Ryan Flaherty, selected from the Cubs, remains the favorite to win a utility job. Flaherty has played left and right field, second base, third base and shortstop. He'll also get a look at first base.