Orioles @ Pirates lineups & pregame notes
*In case you missed it, Brian Roberts will start the season on the 15-day disabled list but will travel north to Baltimore and remain with the team. More on the second baseman’s progression in returning from a concussion here.
*The Orioles trimmed their spring roster to 35 today, optioning Matt Antonelli, Brad Bergesen and Jason Berken to Triple-A Norfolk’s camp and reassigning Dontrelle Willis, Scott Beerer, John Hester, Steve Tolleson and Armando Galarraga to Minor League camp. They officially DL’ed Roberts and Zach Britton (shoulder), who are both on the 15-day DL.
Two interesting notes on the cuts: 1) Berken and Bergesen will both be stretched out and used as starters in Triple-A Norfolk. 2) Tolleson and Antonelli leaving camp makes it pretty obvious that Ryan Flaherty will make the team as a bench player serving a utility role. Manager Buck Showalter said it’s not a definite decision, but it certainly looks good for the Rule 5 pick right now.
*Jai Miller is available for tonight’s game, after being sidelined with a minor knee issue. Fellow outfielder Endy Chavez (groin) remains out, although he said it would only be another day or two.
*Alfredo Simon threw a bullpen yesterday and he said today he had no problems physically. Simon, who has been sidelined with a groin injury, is still being considered as a starter although Showalter said it largely depends on how Tsuyoshi Wada throws in Tuesday’s start. Simon and Wada are both potential long relief options as well. and in my opinion what they do with Wada will have a big impact on the rest of this team.
The Orioles’ pregame notes have Matusz starting Friday, which presumably pushes Jake Arrieta back to Saturday. Arrieta could then be in line for April 6’s Opening Day start on 5 days rest. The 26-year-old right-hander has been heavily speculated as the Orioles’ choice to start the season, although Showalter has remained mum on naming an official Opening Day starter.
Right now, the rotation looks to be (in order) Jake Arrieta, Wei-Yin Chen, Jason Hammel and Tommy Hunter with Brian Matusz a strong candidate for the fifth spot and Wada, Simon, Dana Eveland and Chris Tillman also possibilities.
*Relievers Kevin Gregg and Matt Lindstrom both pitched two innings in a Minor League game this afternoon and Showalter said all went well. Lindstrom hit 98 mph with his fastball during the outing.
*Catcher Ronny Paulino will not be in camp tomorrow as he is undergoing a minor medical procedure.
Nolan Reimold LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 3B
Wilson Betemit 1B
Ronny Paulino DH
Robert Andino 2B
Tommy Hunter RHP
Alex Presley LF
Jose Tabata RF
Andrew McCutchen CF
Neil Walker 2B
Garrett Jones 31B
Rod Barajas C
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Clint Barmes SS
Erik Bedard LHP