By Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun
5:42 PM EDT, March 21, 2013
Just met with Orioles manager Buck Showalter prior to tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Sarasota.
Here are some highlights:
Brian Roberts is back in the Orioles lineup Thursday after fouling a ball off his ankle in the sixth inning Wednesday. He said he was fine; he was.
Nolan Reimold is back out in left field for the second consecutive game. Showalter said previously that Reimold needs to play the field to be active on Opening Day. Right now, Showalter said he feels “good about [Reimold playing left field]. There are no givens. We’ll see.”
Adam Jones is also playing Thursday night. He played Wednesday, his first game back since participating in the World Baseball Classic.
Reliever Pedro Strop is also back – triumphantly – from the WBC. He likely won’t pitch again until Saturday at the earliest.
Jonathan Schoop, who played for The Netherlands in the WBC, is expected to start at either second base or shortstop Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays in Port Charlotte.
Miguel Gonzalez threw 75 pitches in 5-plus innings Wednesday in minor league camp and said all of his pitches were crisper than his last time out. He’ll likely pitch again Monday and then expects to start the Orioles’ final Grapefruit League game March 30 against the New York Mets. That puts him in line to pitch on full rest either the third game of the season at the Tampa Bay Rays or the home opener April 5 at Camden Yards.
No word on Nick Markakis (neck) and when he'll be able to resume baseball activities. He's waiting to talk to his spine specialist before getting the green light.
Showalter has not committed to whether Chris Tillman or Brian Matusz will pitch in the big league game Sunday at Bradenton. One will and the other will start a minor league game.
Before Thursday's game the Orioles worked on relay drills that were filmed and will be used as visual instruction for the organization's minor leaguers.
Longtime Orioles fan and game show host Pat Sajak was on the field before the game.
Here is the Orioles’ lineup: Roberts 4, Machado 5, Jones 8, Wieters 2, Hardy 6, Davis 3, Reimold 7, Canzler DH, Ford 9, Arrieta 1.
And for the Pirates: Sterling Marte 7, Neil Walker 4, Andrew McCutchen 8, Pedro Alvarez 5, Gaby Sanchez DH, Garret Jones 5, Russell Martin 2, Travis Snyder 9, Clint Barmes 6. Jonathan Sanchez 1.
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