The Orioles are headed for Jupiter this morning for an exhibition game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium. Mark Hendrickson will be the starting pitcher and Hayden Penn may follow, but those aren't the biggest issues of the day.
Rich Hill and Koji Uehara are scheduled to throw in simulated action today back at Fort Lauderdale Stadium, and the implications of those two seemingly routine rehab workouts are fairly significant.
If all goes well, Hill and Uehara could return to the exhibition rotation later this week. Hill would still be very iffy for Opening Day. Uehara probably could get back on schedule in time to start the season on time.
If either has another setback, the club will be looking at a very different starting rotation than manager Dave Trembley and pitching coach Rick Kranitz were pondering a month ago, but right now it looks like it will be:
I'm going to guess Hill starts the season in extended spring training and enters the rotation in mid-April, but that's just my guess.
If you recall me projecting a different rotation just 24 hours ago, that was before the Orioles shocked me and everybody else by optioning Brad Bergesen to the Triple-A Norfolk roster. I'm sure we'll get an explanation of that some time this morning.