Notes from Buck Showalter's afternoon press conference:

He hasn't received an update yet from second baseman Brian Roberts (concussion), who was examined today by Dr. Michael Collins, a sports' head injury specialist in Pittsburgh.


Justin Duchscherer (hip) cut short his extended spring training outing today with discomfort in his hip. He was supposed to go five innings. Showalter said he believes he got to three innings. Duchscherer was signed to an incentive-laden contract, and the Orioles aren't counting on him to pitch in the majors this year, Showalter said.

"I think he has had so many challenges with it since the start of spring, that if it happens it's a real (bonus)," Showalter said. "It's something we are not counting on. We are not counting on it. If it happens, it's a real boost. If it doesn't, then we have certainly given it every chance possible."

Brandon Erbe (shoulder surgery) was supposed to throw today in extended spring training, but couldn't get loose and didn't throw, Showalter said. Erbe (McDonogh) is attempting to rebound from labrum surgery last August.

J.J. Hardy is batting first in today's game against the Oakland A's. He has never done that before in a major-league game. Showalter said it was done "out of necessity."

"We have kind of pieced that spot together until we get Brian back. And that's probably the least disruptive to the rest of the group," Showalter said of hardy leading off. "And he is swinging the bat well. We don't have really a conventional guy."

In wanting to get Luke Scott back in the lineup, he had to bench Felix Pie, who is probably the best potential leadoff guy on the roster.

Hardy didn't know he was batting leadoff until Matt Wieters whispered the news to him, just as he was being surrounded by reporters.

"What?" Hardy said. "I'm glad he told me."

Hardy said he'll keep the same approach, though he joked he may just swing on the first pitch and try to steal some bases.

"No, I'm not going to look at it any differently than any other at-bat," he said. "Maybe the first at-bat of the game might be a little bit different, but after that, it's just another at-bat."

Luke Scott, who received a cortisone shot in his ailing right shoulder on Sunday. He said he thought it worked and he was back in the lineup playing left field on Tuesday.

"My shoulder feels the best it has felt in a long time. I am excited about it. I'll go shag fly balls in left field and throw a little bit, do the next step and try to get ready for the game."

Showalter was excited about the Orioles taking a Mississippi State University player in the second day of the amateur draft (RHP Devin Jones in the 9th round). Showalter is a MSU graduate.

Other notable draftees so far in the later rounds today: John Carroll High graduate Kevin Hockaday, a 6-foot-3 third baseman, in the 14th round and Johnny Ruettiger, an outfielder from Arizona State, in the 8th round. His uncle is Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger of Notre Dame and movie fame.


One last thing: Former Ravens WR Mark Clayton is here today, a guest of Adam Jones. And actor Ed Harris is here to throw out the first pitch.