Orioles/White Sox lineups and pregame tidbits
*Alfredo Simon has likely made his last start in extended spring training. Simon pitched four scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out six. He also reportedly was hitting 94 miles an hour on the radar gun, which is impressive. Right now, the Orioles are working with the league to send Simon on a rehab assignment of sorts that will have him pitch with the team’s affiliates.
There is literally no precedent for Simon, who is on the restricted list, but the Orioles are pretty confident that they will be able to work out something out that has the right-hander pitch for a Minor League team. Things aren’t settled, but it’s likely Simon would be able to stay on the restricted list while this is going on and the team wouldn’t have to make a move to add him back to the 40-man for another two weeks or so. Simon has been throwing since the first week of April so this would be sort of a Spring Training for him.
*Brian Matusz (left intercostal muscle strain) threw a 45-pitch side session and felt great afterward, calling pitching coach Mark Connor to tell him on Sunday morning. He will throw at least one more side before making his first appearance in extended spring on the 7th.
*J.J. Hardy (left oblique strain) did some conditioning only in extended spring today and the plan is for him to take batting practice off the coaches in the cages Monday and Tuesday and advance to BP on the field on Wednesday. He’s moving closer to going out on a rehab assignment, where he would only need a few games, and could be back within the next two weeks. Matusz’s return is about a week behind that.
*Just a day off for Adam Jones today, with Felix Pie starting in centerfield instead. Manager Buck Showalter said it was more a product of getting Pie –who hasn’t started since April 17 — out on the field and keeping him in the game. Showalter did say that he’s been impressed with Pie and how he’s handled his limited role so far.
“Felix has had a great attitude,” Showalter said. “As a manager, you watch him on the bench and watch him in the clubhouse. You see little signs sometimes and you want to keep him – for lack of a better expression – connected or engaged, and keep him relevant in his mind too. I make a point of trying to make sure I talk to him or get a feel for him every day. Everybody can get a little fragile from that perspective.”
*Last night’s win closed April with 12 wins, the most for the Orioles since 2007. They hit .234 as a team but .299 with runners in scoring position. They also posted a 4.47 staff ETA with the starters going 9-10 with a 3.77 ERA and the bullpen going 3-3 with a 4.88 ERA over that stretch.
*Jake Arrieta, who has been dealing with some right hip discomfort the last few weeks, reported to be feeling much better on Sunday morning. The Orioles will know much more after his side session on Monday, but right now it’s looking like Arrieta is on track to make his next start.
*Missed last night’s game? Here’s the recap.
Here are the lineups, as Orioles rookie Zach Britton tries to go for his fifth win..
Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Derrek Lee 1B
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Luke Scott LF
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 3B
Felix Pie CF
Robert Andino SS
Zach Britton LHP
WHITE SOX LINEUP
Juan Pierre LF
Alexei Ramirez SS
Carlos Quentin DH
Paul Konerko 1B
Alex Rios CF
Juan Castro C
Brent Lillibridge RF
Gordon Beckham 2B
Brent Morel 3B
SP Gavin Floyd