Some highlights from Buck Showalter’s pre-game news conference:
Showalter confirmed that if the club wasn’t facing six games in National League parks without the designated hitter, it probably would have dealt with not having outfielder Endy Chavez (strained right hamstring) for a couple days as he attempted to get his leg ready. But because Showalter doesn’t want to have a short bench, the club placed Chavez on the 15-day DL and recalled Steve Tolleson from Triple-A Norfolk. Showalter said he expects Chavez to be ready to come off the DL as soon as he is eligible.
“I’ll be frank with you, if we weren’t playing six National League games coming up we might have waited," Showalter said. "But it is tough to have a three-man bench with one of them being a catcher and one of them potentially being [first baseman-only Nick Johnson]. You have to have some maneuverability there with as good a team as Atlanta is and the Mets.”
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Showalter was non-committal on who will have to sit in the National League games since he can’t use a DH. Chris Davis has been one of the club’s hottest hitters but has been playing DH while Mark Reynolds has been at first base and Wilson Betemit primarily at third. Showalter said he could get creative and didn’t dismiss the possibility of Davis in the outfield.
“You’ll see [Davis] at first base again, you may see him in left field,” Showalter said. “He’s played a lot, if you look at his history, in the outfield. I hope you don’t see him pitching again.”
Reliever Matt Lindstrom, who has a partially torn ligament in his right middle finger, threw 60 to 100 feet for 10 minutes today in Sarasota. He is scheduled to throw batting practice on Saturday. He will pitch in a “couple” outings for the Gulf Coast League Orioles and then likely will be moved to Bowie, Showalter said. Lindstrom was placed on the disabled list May 11, but the Orioles have decided not to move him to the 60-day DL. That means Showalter expects to have him back before the All-Star Break, which begins July 9.
Right fielder Nick Markakis (hamate bone surgery) has not swung a bat yet, and Showalter said he will likely need to go on a rehab stint at a minor-league affiliate before returning to the club. He will go with the Orioles on the upcoming road trip, although what activities he will be allowed to do has not been determined.
Joel Pineiro (shoulder) pitched four innings in a simulated game in Sarasota while Dontrelle Willis (forearm) threw five innings. Both felt good and could return to Triple-A Norfolk soon. Pineiro is scheduled to pitch in a Gulf Coast League game Tuesday.
Nolan Reimold (neck) is expected to have a MRI today and it will be compared to a previous MRI to see if his situation has changed.