Orioles/Nats lineup and pregame tidbits
*Reliever Jason Berken, who was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after last night’s game, is scheduled to start on Tuesday and will continue to be stretched out. Manager Buck Showalter said it’s not a role change for Berken per se, but it could become one given that Berken is a converted starter and the team has a glaring lack of depth in their rotation.
The problem with Berken isn’t physical. In fact, the team thinks Berken –who shed 20 pounds this offseason while rehabbing his rotator cuff/labrum– could be too strong, which is why they think the extra innings will be good for him.
*Second baseman Brian Roberts said his headaches are getting better,but he admitted the concussion-like symptoms are a concern. Roberts confirmed that this started with Monday’s headfirst slide into first base in which his helmet hit his head, and he has not done anything physical since then.
He is eligible to come off the 7-day DL for concussions on Tuesday, but it doesn’t look likely at this point.
*Derrek Lee (left oblique strain) made little secret of the fact that he’s unhappy to be on the 15-day disabled list while speaking the media this afternoon. He said he’s confident it will be 15 days and doesn’t think he will need to go to extended spring –which is what J.J. Hardy did with the same injury — although Showalter acknowledged Lee will have to get some at-bats at an affiliate before returning. He will remain with the team through the rest of this homestand.
*Starter Brian Matusz (left intercostal muscle strain) is making his second rehab start, this one with Double-A Bowie, later this evening. Showalter said he’s not leaning one way or another in terms of whether this will be Matusz’s final rehab outing or not.
*Right-handed pitcher Alfredo Simon is here and will be activated tonight off the restricted list and serve as the long man in the Orioles bullpen. Showalter said he spoke with Simon and doesn’t see his legal issues as something that will prevent him from concentrating on baseball.
Simon, who has lost about 30 pounds, said he feels good physically and was pleased with his last outing in Bowie in which he threw all of his pitches.
*Showalter met with the Orioles four young pitchers this afternoon and the talk centered on the frustrating see-saw act that has been going on. While the ups and downs are part of learning in the American League East, it was pretty clear that Showalter was stern in his message that these guys need to find a way to limit the damage and give the team some innings. The Orioles have had consecutive starters –in Brad Bergesen and Jake Arrieta — who were unable to make it out of the fourth inning. It goes without saying that it makes it incredibly hard to get anything going as a team when that happens.
*It’s Matt Wieters’ 25th birthday today.
Robert Andino 2B
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Matt Wieters C
J.J. Hardy SS
Mark Reynolds 3B
Nolan Reimold LF
Jeremy Guthrie SP