Orioles @ Twins lineups and pregame notes (updated)
Greetings from Minneapolis, where the Orioles are kicking off a two-city eight-game road trip with stops here and in Cleveland. It’s insanely hot here, with temperatures expected to hover in the upper 90s before breaking slightly the next three days. There were a lot of players already out hitting and taking early batting practice when I arrived at Target Field at around 2:15 CT. Those I saw : Wilson Betemit, Endy Chavez, Steve Tolleson, Mark Reynolds, Chris Davis, Ryan Flaherty, Steve Pearce, Taylor Teagarden, J.J. Hardy and Jim Thome.
*The big news out of today’s pregame session is second baseman Robert Andino will be out 3-4 weeks after Monday’s MRI revealed a left shoulder strain. Andino will be placed on the disabled list on Tuesday, with starter Zach Britton taking his roster spot, and his absence is another blow for an already-depleted Orioles team. More on that here.
*Nick Johnson tried to hit today in extended spring in Sarasota, Fla. with some discomfort in his wrist, so he continues to be out indefinitely. Stu Pomeranz –who had a back issue that kept him from going out on rehab– resumed throwing today in Sarasota, as he continues to make his way back from an oblique strain.
*Jason Hammel underwent successful surgery on his right knee today at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. The 29-year-old Hammel had the area scoped out and also had a few loose bodies removed in the area. He will also report to Sarasota, but not immediately since there’s nothing he can do initially but rest. The timetable for Hammel remains the same.
*Ronny Paulino has accepted his assignment and will remain in the organization, forgoing free agency to stay with Triple-A Norfolk and split catching duties with Luis Exposito. Paulino was outrighted on Saturday to make room for Taylor Teagarden.
*The Orioles have yet to announce a starter for Wednesday, although Tommy Hunter seems like the most logical choice given that he’s slated to pitch for Norfolk that day. Reliever Miguel Socolovich is also an option out of the bullpen and is stretched out enough to make a spot start, but that depends on how Tillman and Britton pitch these next two games.
*The Orioles officially recalled right-hander Chris Tillman, who will start tonight, from Double-A Bowie. Tillman was with the team yesterday and made a start at Bowie over the All-Star Break. He will be making his second start of the season and try to solidify a spot in the team’s uncertain rotation. The 24-year-old Tillman has never pitched at Target Field.
*Dana Eveland has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk. Eveland was placed on waivers on Saturday and is expected to be stretched back out to join Norfolk’s rotation.
*Zach Britton is here with the team in Minnesota and is expected to be officially recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to make Tuesday’s start. It will be the first Major League start for Britton since September 27, 2011. Britton was projected to be part of the team’s starting rotation, but was plagued with left shoulder discomfort that started last August. He struggled initially for Triple-A Norfolk after being activated off the disabled list, but his last few outings had the organization optimistic he can return to form.
Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 1B
Steve Pearce LF
Chris Davis DH
Wilson Betemit 3B
Steve Tolleson 2B
Chris Tillman RHP
Denard Span CF
Ben Revere RF
Joe Mauer C
Josh Willingham LF
Justin Morneau 1B
Trevor Plouffe 3B
Ryan Doumit DH
Brian Dozier SS
Jamey Carroll 2B
Scott Diamond LHP