Orioles/Royals lineup and pregame tidbits
*Brian Roberts saw concussion specialist Dr. Michael Collins this afternoon in Pittsburgh and the plan of action is to rest for another two full weeks. Roberts’ return won’t come for three weeks at the earliest, which means the best-case scenario is the end of May.
President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said the team will continue to explore other options at second base, including externally, and that the team will move Roberts from the 7-day disabled list to the 15-day DL.
There’s not much else to report other than the fact that Roberts’ symptoms are getting better, although they aren’t totally gone. He will see Colllins in two weeks to be evaluated again.
*Orioles pitcher Jason Berken, who was demoted to Triple-A Norfolk after Friday night’s game, made his first start for the Tides this afternoon pitching three innings with no earned runs on five hits and three strikeouts.
The Orioles are stretching Berken out to be a starter, not necessarily as a role change, but because they think it’s best right now.
*Brian Matusz (left intercostal muscle strain) will start Friday for Triple-A Norfolk and it’s 50-50 if he gets activated from there. The earliest he could return to the team is June 1, but it depends on how he feels after his next start, which will be around 90 pitches.
*Derrek Lee (left oblique strain) will report to extended spring tomorrow and is also targeting a June 1 return. Lee will have to get some at-bats, but the team would prefer he gets those at an affiliate.
*The Orioles are weighing the possibility of calling up Craig Tatum, who would add a true backup catcher to the staff. With Matt Wieters slated to catch tonight and Wednesday night, and a day game on Thursday, it’s possible Tatum is up here and behind the plate Thursday afternoon.
*Brad Bergesen will start Saturday’s game in Oakland and will be preceded by Chris Tillman on Friday. with Monday’s off day the Orioles were able to skip Bergesen and will instead have him available in the bullpen tonight and Wednesday. So the rotation will be Jake Arrieta, Jeremy Guthrie and Tillman following Zach Britton tonight.
*Cesar Izturis had successful surgery this morning. Izturis had the ulnar nerve moved in his right elbow and the team is still hopeful he can play for them at some point this season. Right now, Izturis is on the 60-day DL.
*Justin Duchscherer is still at extended spring, although there are no plans right now for him to get back into a game. Duchscherer was shut down last week.
Robert Andino 2B
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Matt Wieters C
Nolan Reimold LF
Mark Reynolds 3B
J.J. Hardy SS
Brandon Snyder 1B
Zach Britton LHP
Alex Gordon LF
Melky Cabrera CF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Jeff Francoeur RF
Billy Butler DH
Wilson Betemit SS
Alex Aviles 2B
Brayan Pena C
Alcides Escobar SS
Danny Duffy LHP