Orioles vs Pirates (with Roberts & Matusz news)

*Brian Roberts will be activated from the 60-day disabled list and play in his first game since on May 16, 2011, as the veteran infielder is batting leadoff and playing second base for Tuesday’s series-opener versus the Pirates. Roberts, who just finished a 20-day rehab assignment, said he had done headfirst diving for balls in the field but has yet to slide headfirst into a base. Given that his concussion was originally suffered on a headfirst slide at Fenway Park, the 34-year-old Roberts acknowledged that he may “think twice” and consider going in feet first.

Roberts is currently the longest-tenured Oriole, having played in 1,233 games with a .281 career average, 84 home runs, 477 RBIs, 339 doubles and 274 stolen bases. His activation will put Robert Andino –who had been playing second base — in more of a utility role. Andino was not in Tuesday’s starting lineup but is expected to fill-in at second, third, shortstop and even the outfield.

*Brian Matusz took a ball to the nose, after fouling back a bunt in pitcher’s batting practice this afternoon in the indoor cages. Matusz is currently being examined by the team’s doctors and it’s unknown right now if he will be able to make his start tomorrow. The issue is how much the swelling creeps into the eye area and if the nose injury affects his breathing as well. Manager Buck Showalter said the team doesn’t know right now if anything is broken or if it’s a possible DL-situation or a case where his start would need to just be pushed back.

The Orioles are holding off on making a corresponding roster move for Roberts until they get word on Matusz, but the 40-man roster move will likely be to move Nolan Reimold (herniated disk) to the 60-day disabled list. Reimold is flying to Baltimore to get another MRI –to compare to one taken earlier — and make sure there is nothing alarming going on in there. Reimold is pain-free, but still dealing with numbness/tingling in certain areas on his left side, and his strength isn’t coming back nearly as fast as the team had hoped. He has not been cleared to do any baseball activities at this point.

*Nick Markakis was in the clubhouse today and he had the stitches removed from his right wrist on Sunday.

*Reliever Matt Lindstrom (right middle finger injury) is throwing off a flat mound in extended spring.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Brian Roberts 2B
J.J. Hardy SS
Chris Davis DH
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Wilson Betemit 3B
Mark Reynolds 1B
Steve Pearce LF
Endy Chavez RF

Wei-Yin Chen P

PIRATES LINEUP

Alex Presley LF
Neil Walker 2B
Andrew McCutchen CF
Casey McGehee 1B
Matt Hague DH
Pedro Alvarez 3B
Jose Tabata RF
Rod Barajas C
Clint Barmes SS

SP Brad Lincoln

5 Comments

Pingback: Brian Matusz got cracked in the nose while doing a bunting drill | HardballTalk

Interesting timing on B-Rob’s return. Andino is striking out at an inordinately high rate right now and could probably use some time on the bench to get his head straight. Great to see Roberts finally back; hope he stays awhile!

Extremely disrespectful to Andino to take him out of the lineup and put Betemit at 3rd when Betemit is no more than a 1yr part time player. Robert has given the O’s too much to be treated this way. Buck doesn’t make many mistakes, but this is a big one. Disgraceful. He deserves to be in the lineup the day Roberts comes back over anybody on the team. Shameful.

Betemit was signed to a mult-year deal this winter. Andino actually needed a day off, he’s been playing every day. You are reading waaaaay too much into it. –Brittany

Thanks for pointing that out Brit, I’ve been going nuts thinking I was the only one!

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