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Orioles pregame notes: Rain delays first pitch until 4, Brooks Robinson visits and more

Fans choose to vacate the seating bowl as rain falls during a rain delay, stopping play between the Baltimore Orioles and the Seattle Mariners at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 21, 2015.
Fans choose to vacate the seating bowl as rain falls during a rain delay, stopping play between the Baltimore Orioles and the Seattle Mariners at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 21, 2015. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

The start of this afternoon's Orioles game against the Kansas City Royals has been delayed by inclement weather.

It's currently raining at Camden Yards and the tarp is on the field. There's no word on when today's game could begin, but the forecast is calling for showers into the night.

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This is the Royals' only trip to Baltimore and the Orioles are playing an 8:05 p.m. game on Sunday night, so the teams would likely try to play a doubleheader tomorrow.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Update: The Orioles have announced that first pitch will be at approximately 4:05 p.m.

-- Meanwhile, Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson visited the Orioles clubhouse today.

"It's always a highlight," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "It's like having the pope visit."

As always, Robinson drew a crowd. Third baseman Manny Machado greeted him with a hug and Baltimore native Steve Clevenger asked Robinson for his autograph on a baseball. Robinson then told Clevenger he watched his eighth-inning grand slam Friday night.

"He's so humble," Showalter said. "Every time he comes in there, it's like he feels like he's putting you out by being there, that he's taking up your time. A lot of guys with his stature, they really respect what goes on in a locker room, but he does it to a fault. I wish he would come every day. I would put him in the middle of the room and just let him talk. … It's obvious he's engaged in what we're doing. We're talking there and you can tell he's up to date with everything on us. He's an impressive man."

Showalter said Robinson reminded him that the Orioles won three straight games after his previous visit, which was before Game 1 of the American League Division Series. A photo of Robinson speaking to the team that day hangs in the hallway of the Orioles clubhouse.

"That was one of the best pictures of him in the locker room," Showalter said. "He doesn't seem to ever get tired of it. He always has time for everybody. … It was poor managing on my part. I should have brought him back for Kansas City. I was saving him for the World Series. Bad managing."

-- Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez said he will resume throwing Monday by playing catch, marking the first time he has thrown since his last start on Aug. 30.

Gonzalez, who is on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis, was waiting for the swelling in his elbow to go down before he began to throw again. Gonzalez also received a cortisone shot in his shoulder, but he said both his shoulder and elbow are pain free.

"That's good," Showalter said. "We thought the shoulder would manage. It was just a matter of when the elbow came around because that was new. We felt good about the structure in both places. I didn't want to handicap it. You could talk to three different people who were in on it and get three different opinions, but it was going to come down to Miguel at the end of the day."

Showalter said he'd like to see Gonzalez log at least a couple of starts before the end of the regular season.

"It may or may not happen. … The best scenario is that he gets some starts under his belt going into the offseason so he and we know what we're dealing with," Showalter said. "It's important. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't mean he's not going to be a good pitcher for us next year. It would certainly help certainly his state of mind and our confidence level. I think it's as much for him as anything else, but I think knowing there's no structural damage in there, he knows at some point it's going to manage itself and he's going to be back to the guy who can locate his fastball. When is the question. We'd love for that to happen before he leaves, which we hope is in early November."

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-- As expected, Rule 5 pick Jason Garcia will pitch in the Arizona Fall League. Despite being on the major league club this season, Garcia is eligible to pitch in the AFL because he has less than one year of consecutive major league service time.

-- As always, the Orioles spring training facility in Sarasota, Fla.,  will be available to host players working out in the offseason. The club also plans to have workouts for West Coast players in Southern California, led by vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson.

-- The Red Land Little League team from York County, Pa. -- this year's U.S. Little League champions -- visited the Orioles before today's game. Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop, a Little League champion himself for Curacao in 2004, gave the team a bat and several pairs of batting gloves.

Here are today's lineups:

Orioles
Nolan Reimold LF
Manny Machado 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Adam Jones CF
Gerardo Parra RF
Matt Wieters C
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Jimmy Paredes DH
J.J. Hardy SS

Chris Tillman RHP

Royals
Alex Gordon LF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Lorenzo Cain CF
Eric Hosmer 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Mike Moustakas 3B
Salvador Perez C
Alex Rios RF
Alcides Escobar SS

Yordano Ventura RHP

eencina@baltsun.com
twitter.com/EddieInTheYard

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