Orioles vs Nationals (w. pregame notes)

*J.J. Hardy is  back in the lineup after missing two games with a sore right shoulder, while Endy Chavez (groin) is out for a third game. Chavez could be out for a few more days, there’s really no rush since he’s making the team and the Orioles’ don’t want to make the injury worse.

*In case you missed it yesterday, I wrote about reliever Jim Johnson’s down velocity and where the right-hander hopes to be come April 6’s Opening Day. You can read that here.

*There was some thought to having Nick Markakis serve at designated hitter this afternoon, but manager Buck Showalter said he wanted to stay with the original plan, which is Markakis playing right field on Monday night against the Pirates.

*Alfredo Simon will throw a bullpen tomorrow, his first since coming out of Sunday night’s start with groin discomfort.

*Dontrelle Willis and Daren O’Day are both available in relief, with Jason Berken going to Clearwater Sunday afternoon, for what could be his Grapefruit league debut.

*Tsuyoshi Wada will pitch in Tuesday’s game versus Minnesota. Wei-Yin Chen is scheduled to get that start.

Here are your lineups…
Ryan Flaherty RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Wilson Betemit DH
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Nolan Reimold LF
Robert Andino 2B

Jake Arrieta RHP
Ian Desmond SS
Danny Espinosa 2B
Rick Ankiel Cf
Chad Tracy 1B
Wilson Ramos C
Jesus Flores DH
Corey Brown Lf
Brett Caroll RF
Steve Lombardozzi 3B

Edwin Jackson RHP


Now batting leadoff for the Baltimore Orioles Ryan Flaherty.

Having trouble with posting. First comment was a test. Now that i know I;m back I think letting Flaherty leadoff is worth a try. We don’t have a good leadoff batter unless Roberts comes back and proves he can play everyday the way he used too. This is not likely. No one else really looks good in the 1 slot so let him give it a shot. Hits line drives and shows good speed with two triples already. The rest of the lineup is more flexible which Buck likes. Jones looks like the cleanup batter.

Flaherty isn’t going to start games though. He’s a bench player. I think you are looking at Reimold most days, possibly Chavez or Flaherty when they make some starts to spell certain guys.

Maybe so, but I think Buck likes him enough to get him in as a DH, infielder and outfielder. He could get 300 to 400 ab’s because he is so versatile. If so leadoff is a good spot for him. Also Nick Markakis may not play full time early in the season and he could get some at bats there. We’ll see.

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