*Brian Roberts has been slowed by right hamstring discomfort since the end of Spring Training but he said today it’s feeling a lot better and he hopes to regain his run game.
The O’s enter Friday tied with Atlanta for last in the Major Leagues in stolen bases (5) and having Roberts back running will certainly help.
Here are some other notable items from manager Buck Showalter’s pregame session…
*Starter Brian Matusz (strained left intercostal muscle) is scheduled to make an appearance in extended spring on May 7. The plan is for Matusz to throw 2-3 innings and he would need at least three rehab appearances with a Minor League team after that.
*Shortstop J.J. Hardy (left oblique strain) has been progressing in his rehab with no reported problems and he’s believed to be about two weeks away if he stays on schedule. Matusz’s return would be after that.
*White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen served the first of a two-game suspension on Friday night for his actions following an ejection at the new Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night.
*Although both Clay Rapada and Michael Gonzalez are struggling, Showalter said prior to Friday’s game he wasn’t overly concerned about the team’s left-handed relief situation. “If Michael keeps taking that same approach [from Thursday], he’s going to have some return for it,” Showalter said. “I don’t know if Clay’s had a big enough sampling. Keep in mind when Clay comes in, he’s facing the heart of the order with left-handers. I still think he has a chance to present a good option for us down there.”