Both catcher Matt Wieters and second Brian Roberts are being held out of the starting lineup today as Juan Samuel continued to stick to his plan of giving the regulars an occasional breather even on his final day as interim manager.

I spoke to Roberts, who has been off the disabled list for about a week now, and he really has been encouraged by how his back feels.


"It's been better as we've gone along actually. I wasn't 100 percent sure what to expect. It took me a couple of days to get back into it, but physically, I am doing a lot better than I even expected to be doing," said Roberts who was on the disabled list for more than three months because of the herniated disk in his back. "I don't have really too much left that I'm worried about. I've done just about everything that probably scared me coming in."

Roberts is also starting to hit. He's 8-for-22 (.364) with two doubles, three runs scored and a stolen base on this road trip.

Troy Patton, who was summoned from Triple-A Norfolk to take Will Ohman's roster spot, is available today. He'll be used in long relief. Ironically, it was Ohman, who suggested to Patton during the youngster's one-day in the big leagues last month, that he should start coming up with an approach to pitch out of the bullpen.

"We were sitting in the bullpen that one day I was up and he was like, 'They're thinking about trading me. If I get traded, you need to start thinking about how to approach hitters out of the bullpen instead of as a starter,'" Patton said. "I didn't take anything too serious, but he was absolutely right."

Samuel also reflected on his time as Orioles' manager, which will end after today. Samuel will meet with President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail tomorrow morning, and it is expected that he'll step down rather than returning to his previous position as the first base coach.

"I am very thankful and I expressed that to Andy many times and I have told him, 'Don't think that the decision I make, don't think it's me being angry,'" Samuel said. "I just don't want to be in a position where you can be uncomfortable and your players can be uncomfortable at the same time, so you are probably looking at the best decision for the club and the whole organization really."

If he goes out and it would take a heckuva sales pitch by MacPhail for him to stay, it will be with his head held high.

"It was great, handling the player, talking to you guys," Samuel said. "Given the opportunity again, I think you will be a little bit more prepared about what to expect. The game will take care of itself. I think that's probably the easier part. It's preparing before, getting lineups ready, making sure guys are Ok, making sure you don't kill these guys, you don't play these guys to much, and finding guys that need time off here and there and hopefully you are making the right call.

"There's no doubt, this was a great opportunity. And I look at it, as it puts my name out there a little more now as something to have on your resume as we go forward."