Orioles pregame: Tolleson in left, Hall in right in patchwork lineup

ST. PETERSBURG — With starting right fielder Nick Markakis shelved following wrist surgery, making him the eighth Orioles player on the disabled list, manager Buck Showalter had to be creative making Friday night's lineup against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

First, some official housekeeping. As we reported earlier, Bill Hall's contract was purchased to take the spot of Markakis' who was officially placed on the DL. To make room on the 40-man roster, Brian Roberts was placed on the 60-man DL, not a big deal since he's been on the DL since March 26.


Back to tonight's lineup. It might be the most interesting of the season, with Steve Tolleson in left and Hall in right. ShortstopJ.J. Hardy is hitting in Markakis' usual No. 3 spot.

Tolleson, who had usually played third, second and shortstop is making his first big-league start in left. He played left once as a defensive substitute with Oakland in 2010.


Tolleson also played 62 minor league games in left field, including 24 in Triple-A last season.

Showalter said the Orioles have plenty of options in right, among them Tolleson, Hall, Ryan Flaherty, Wilson Betemit and Endy Chavez.

Showalter said he's open to moving around the corner outfield spots, but he's like to maintain some consistency with whoever hits in No. 3 spot in the order.

Some other news:


-- Leftfielder Nolan Reimold continues to progress, so much so that he might not need that third epidural injection. The tingling in his left arm has subsided to just a few spots and he's off pain medication.

-- Left-hander Zach Britton will likely make his next start Tuesday for Triple-A Norfolk as the next step of his rehab assignment. The Orioles don't need a fifth starter until June 9 because of two off days on this road trip. Showalter said the decision on Britton is now becoming more of a baseball evaluation (on whether he is ready for majors) versus whether he's healthy. Britton allowed just one earned run in seven innings for Double-A Bowie on Thursday night.

-- Brian Roberts continues to progress as well on his rehab. He's back at Double-A Bowie tonight, hitting leading and starting at second. "He's getting deeper and deeper in the games," Showalter said. By the time he gets to the Norfolk club, he's probably going to be looking at nine innings, eight or nine innings."

Here are tonight's lineups:

Robert Andino 2B
Steve Tolleson LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Mark Reynolds 1B
Chris Davis DH
Wilson Betemit 3B
Bill Hall RF
Wei-Yin Chen LHP

Carlos Pena 1B
B.J. Upton CF
Matt Joyce RF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Luke Scott DH
Sean Rodriguez 3B
Hideki Matsui LF
Jose Molina C
Elliot Johnson SS
David Price LHP

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