Orioles vs Tigers (updated with lineups)

*Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed Friday afternoon what was already expected in regards to Taylor Teagarden starting the season on the disabled list. Teagarden will receive his second epidural on Monday morning at 8 a.m. and he could be activated off the DL as early as April 10. What this means for the Orioles is Ronny Paulino will be the team’s backup catcher. Paulino reported to camp three weeks late because of visa issues.

*Showalter also confirmed that the club will likely go with 12 pitchers and 13 position players, meaning a seven-man bullpen and a four-man bench. Nothing is official, but you can pencil in Endy Chavez, Ryan Flaherty and Nick Johnson to go along with Paulino. The pitching remains in flux, but asked if the team needs a long man, Showalter said that they will have guys who can go more than one inning. That may not necessarily be a “long man” such as Alfredo Simon. Chris Tillman is another option in camp as well seeing as those he’s gone multi-inning stints, although the jury is still out as to whether the organization would prefer to have Tillman continue as a starter. Simon is out of options and his situation will obviously impact what happens here. He missed nine days with a groin injury and it’s possible the team could DL Simon.

It’s also possible the Orioles make, moving Simon or Kevin Gregg, in a move that could free up space to take both lefty relievers Troy Patton and Zach Phillips. Both guys have had good springs and Patton –who hasn’t allowed a run — is out of options and would likely be claimed on waivers if he doesn’t make the team.

Tsuyoshi Wada will make his second spring start on Tuesday with the goal being to get him 75-80 pitches against Florida Southern, and the team continues to publicly keep him in the starting rotation competition. I doubt he’d be a guy that they would put in the bullpen as a multi-inning reliever –he’s been a starter his whole career- and the fifth spot  depends on how Wada throws Tuesday and how Brian Matusz fares today. I think the team would have a hard time not keeping Matusz in the Opening Day rotation if he has a good start against the Tigers today.

*Endy Chavez will return to the lineup today and shortstop J.J. Hardy is also back after sitting out with a sore right shoulder.

*Jason Berken will start for Triple-A Norfolk and pitch against the Orioles on April 4. Showalter declined to name the O’s starter for that game because it would tip his hand as to who would line up for Opening Day, which the team continues to keep secret.

*Reliever Matt Lindstrom, who tweaked his hamstring the other day, will pitch in a Minor League game next. That’s worth noting because if the injury worsens for any reason the Orioles can backdate his DL period as long as he doesn’t pitch in a Major League game.


Nolan Reimold DH
J.J. Hardy SS
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 3B
Wilson Betemit 1B
Endy Chavez LF
Jai Miller RF
Robert Andino 2B

Brian Matusz LHP

Austin Jackson CF
Brennan Boesch RF
Miguel Cabrera 3B
Don Kelly 1B
Delmon Young LF
Ryan Raburn 2B
Clete Thomas DH
Ramon Santiago SS
Gerald Laird C

Duane Below LHP


Simon is too inconsistant to be ever considered as a starter. In my opinion, his chances have run out with the Orioles and a trip thru waivers is the way things should go. If no one claims him, release would be the path I would take unless someone would trade for him but I don’t see that happening. As far as Gregg, hopefully they can make a deal to send him elsewhere. If not, he should never be considered for the closer’s role again as his consistancy is too much in question also. To keep him over a guy like Zack Phillips would be a mistake that will come back to haunt them. Phillips and Patton deserve to stay – no room for Gregg.

Obviously Simon is still suffering lingering effects from that groin injury. Expect to see him become a long reliever and do well in that role.

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