Orioles pregame notes on Ubaldo Jimenez, Miguel Gonzalez and David Lough

Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez winds up in the first inning of a spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater, Fla.

SARASOTA, FLA. — Ubaldo Jimenez and Miguel Gonzalez will make their final spring starts on Friday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter announced Wednesday.

Jimenez will pitch in Friday's home Grapefruit League game against the Atlanta Braves at Ed Smith Stadium, while Gonzalez will pitch in a minor league game at Twin Lakes Park that afternoon.


"It just kind of fits, whether it's somebody ends up in the 'pen or starting, they're all available on Monday (in the season opener)," Showalter said. "It keeps everybody in play. Plus, I think Ubaldo's had enough of the gray pants."

All six of Jimenez's previous six starts have come on the road, including two trips to Dunedin to face the Blue Jays and two to Fort Myers to pitch against the Twins.


Jimenez, who is competing for the final rotation spot, has allowed just one run over his past two starts, spanning nine innings, and struck out six and walked one. Over his past four starts, Jimenez has 11 strikeouts and just two walks. Last season, he spent most of the season leading the American League in walks.

Gonzalez likely will start the team's third regular season game in Tampa Bay. Wei-Yin Chen is likely to start the second game after Chris Tillman makes his second consecutive Opening Day start.

The Orioles' starter for the team's Grapefruit League finale against the Braves in Orlando is still to be determined.

Showalter is expected to give the major league team that day off – that would allow the club to hold a workout Sunday at Tropicana Field on the eve of the season opener -- so Saturday's game is expected to be played by players who are not making the Opening Day roster and players in minor league camp.

Showalter said David Lough, who will be likely be placed on the DL with a sore left hamstring, is scheduled to play in minor league games beginning on Friday. He is slated to play in a Triple-A game against the Rays' Triple-A team in Port Charlotte, Showalter said.

The club's plan is for Lough to play in five to six minor league or extended spring games, then travel to Baltimore before the Orioles' home opener next Friday. Lough would be eligible to be activated from the disabled list next Saturday, and the Orioles are optimistic he might be able to return then.

Showalter also said that the team is more optimistic shortstop J.J. Hardy (left shoulder muscle strain) will be able to come off the DL next Saturday DL date, but it still seems unlikely.

"Dr. Jacobs continues to be real positive about J.J." Showalter said. "He was good again. We might have a shot at that eligibility day, we might."