A few odds and ends
A few quotes and tidbits to wrap it up from the Ed Smith Stadium press box:
*Jake Arrieta is tentatively scheduled for Monday’s home opener, but manager Buck Showalter said the team will watch Brian Matusz (left bicep contusion) play catch at the team’s complex first. If all goes well, both Arrieta and Matusz will remain on schedule and Arrieta will throw six innings in a simulated game against Minor Leaguers on Wednesday.
“We will know about Matusz before Arrieta pitches, that’s why we switched the game back to 1 o’clock,” Showalter said.
Brad Bergesen (right forearm contusion) is scheduled to throw two innings in Wednesday’s game. Bergesen and Chris Tillman are both still up for Sunday’s start, which Showalter has not announced yet.
*I got a lot of questions and outrage about saying that Craig Tatum –who will start the season in Baltimore — likely won’t be there very long. Here’s a pretty telling quote from Showalter about that.
“What happens this time of year, they dwell so much on the finality on the 29th of March and not what could happen shortly,” Showalter said of the decision to send Tatum to Norfolk. “We’ll see. When we get our rotation … where it kind of settles in and some things in our bullpen [settle] we will be tweaking some things as they go. But they don’t really want to hear that right now.
Craig did some good things for us last year and will get an opportunity again if he takes care of his end of the bargain. He also has more important things going on in his life.”
Tatum’s wife is scheduled to have their first baby on Thursday morning, in case you missed my earlier post about that.
*With Tatum not on the Opening Day roster, Jake Fox is the team’s backup catcher. Fox said he felt bad given that him and Tatum are both close friends and he knows that starts as a utility guy will be nearly impossible given that the team will need him for insurance should Wieters get hurt or have to come out for any reason.
“It will be interesting to see when I get my first my at-bat, will it be a few days or a week,” said Fox, who hit a Major League-leading 10 homers this spring.
“I’ll keep getting my work in and stay ready. But it will be interesting to see if a situation arises or if there’s a job elsewhere, what happens. But I am excited to be part of this team.”
*Derrek Lee has said all along he will be ready for Opening Day, joking with reporters they Major League Baseball won’t “push it back” for him. Tuesday’s game was an encouraging sign for Lee, who went 3-for-4 at the plate and entered the game hitting just. 111.
“I have been starting to feel a little better the last couple days and it definitely felt good,” said Lee, who will take some swings in the cage on Wednesday. “I’m seeing the ball good.”