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Pre-game notes: Hardy, Arrieta, Simon, Millwood

Shortstop J.J. Hardy (strained left oblique) took 30 swings today in the batting cages and ran the bases. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said that it's not impossible that he goes on a rehab assignment this weekend.

Starter Brian Matusz (strained left intercostal muscle) felt good after his 45-pitch bullpen session Sunday. Showalter said that Matusz will likely throw two innings in an extended spring training game Saturday.

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Chris Jakubauskas has been activated from the 15-day disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. It's expected that he'll start for the Tides.

Jake Arrieta (sore right hip) got through his bullpen session with no problems today and he remains on track to start Wednesday in Kansas City.

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"I feel good. Everything is fine," Arrieta said. "It was something I kind of had for a couple of weeks. For whatever reason, it kind of bugged me a little the other night, but it's fine.

Moving forward, I don't see any restrictions."

As my colleague, Dan Connolly, wrote earlier, Alfredo Simon is expected to start for Double-A Bowie on Thursday.

Asked about SImon's status, Showalter said, "I've been reminded a lot by people who were here for the long haul how good a stretch that he had last year. That's probably a better question for [President of Baseball Operations Andy MacPhail], but I know that he's going to start and get stretched out and be an option for both needs (starting and relief) if they arise. I think there's some point where he has to be up here one way or the other. I think he's out of options. Andy can answer that better than me."

Showalter also deflected questions on free agent starter Kevin Millwood.

"Everybody thinks the world of Kevin, including me. But that's a question for Andy," Showalter said. "We discussed Kevin in the offseason and in the spring. We like him a lot and some of the things that he did for our young pitchers and our club last year. He gave us a lot of innings. I think all the things like that from a depth standpoint are kind of moving targets, but I'm sure Andy would have a better answer to that than I did. But to say that we haven't discussed the guys that might be out there wouldn't be frank with you."

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