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Rule 5 pick Michael Almanzar headed for MRI on left knee and other Orioles notes

Orioles Rule 5 pick Michael Almanzar is scheduled for a MRI of his left knee Monday afternoon, according to manager Buck Showalter.

Showalter said the 23-year-old corner infielder injured his knee while playing first base Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla., and there has continued to be swelling.

The Orioles need to keep Almanzar on the major league roster all season or offer him back to the Boston Red Sox for half of the original $50,000 purchase price. If he started the season on the 15-day disabled list it would buy the Orioles some time and roster flexibility.

But Showalter said the team is not going to work around the system and attempt to stash Almanzar if he isn’t truly injured.

“Only if he needs it,” Showalter said. “If he is hurt, he’ll be on the DL. If he’s not, we’ll deal with the Boston thing. We aren’t going to do that. We didn’t do that with Flaherty, we didn’t do that with McFarland. We’re not going to do it.”

Almanzar has hit .200 with one homer and nine RBIs in 35 spring at-bats.

“We’d like to figure out a way to keep Michael, but it may not work out,” he said.

Some other things from Showalter’s afternoon availability with the media:

-- Johan Santana (shoulder) threw from a half mound today, and Dylan Bundy (elbow) threw from a flat mound. Bundy will throw from the flat mound at least once more before graduating to a half-mound.

-- Showalter said he’s always liked infielder Steve Lombardozzi and says the newly acquired infielder can fit into the second base, third base or utility spots. Showalter managed against Lombardozzi’s father in the minors. Steve Lombardozzi Sr. won a World Series ring with the Minnesota Twins in 1987.

“I like him. Always have. I especially like where he is from [Columbia],” Showalter said. “I hope the apple doesn’t fall too far from his tree. His dad was a good player.”

-- Showalter said Alex Gonzalez, who was traded to the Tigers for Lombardozzi, would have made the club as a utility infielder if he had stayed with the Orioles.

-- Showalter said farmhands Juan Morillo and Williams Louico each hit 100 mph in a minor league game. Morillo reached 101, Showalter said.

-- Marianna Weaver, the widow of Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver, is at Monday’s game. She is scheduled to throw out the first pitch.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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