...though I hope nobody breathes too hard and pulls someting. This has been a very curious first 11 days of the new season, with the Orioles playing and pitching well while losing an average of a player every other day. That's why it's hard to have very high expectations for the midweek series against the Yankees in New York.

Robert Andino and Cesar Izturiz will share the starting shortstop duties now that J.J. Hardy's condition appears to be known. Hardy is headed to extended spring training to rehab along with Brian Matusz and we'll probably see both of them in about three weeks. The Orioles will decide today or tomorrow whether to bring back Brad Bergesen to start on Wednesday night or give the spot start to Chris Jakubauskas. Looks like Bergesen.

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The series against the Yankees will come down to how the Orioles rotation responds to adversity. Chris Tillman, who starts tomorrow night, is coming off a short outing after pitching six no-hit innings in his season debut, and Jake Arrieta will try to bounce back on Thursday night after a very difficult start against the Rangers on Saturday.

The O's probably are going to lose some altitude in the MLB power rankings because of what has happened to the Rays. That three-game sweep to open the season looked pretty sweet, but it's starting to look like the Rays weren't what they were cracked up to be. It's sort of like Boise State early in the last college football season. The Broncos went on the road to beat Virginia Tech in their opener and then suffered in the rankings when VTech was upset soon thereafter by James Madison.

OK, that's a stretch, but I never pass up a chance to mention how Boise gets the short end of the stick from the NCAA.

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