Alexi Casilla was held out of Saturday’s game because he is still dealing with some swelling in his left knee. He had been scheduled to start Friday but was scratched with the injury, which occurred days ago when he was hit by a runner while turning a double play.
Casilla said he expects he’ll be ready to play Sunday.
“I told the trainers that I could have played with it,” Casilla said. “They didn't let me today. Same thing. They just wanted the swelling to go down. I said, 'I can play.'"
Casilla has played in just three games. He is hitless in five at-bats. Because he has been battling health issues – he also had a right hamstring strain -- his chances of making the team as a utility infielder appear to be waning.
“I missed a lot of games already so I don't know. From the first day I came here I was ready, I was ready to play. I’m feeling pretty good,” he said. “Even if I'm 0-for-5.”
** Catcher Matt Wieters, who is dealing with a sore right ankle, said he would expect to play Monday. He turned the ankle while running the bases Tuesday and hasn’t played since.
“That's what I'm shooting for,” he said. “If it was the regular season I'd be good to go. But you don't want to make it worse or hurt anything else.”
Markakis is leading off but he is serving as the designated hitter because he has been dealing with a little left shoulder tendinitis. Jones is expected back in Florida today after the birth of his child in Baltimore, but he is getting the travel day off. Lough was scratched from Friday’s game due to a stiff neck. He wasn’t in the clubhouse this morning so we don’t have an update yet on how his doctor’s appointment went.
That means the Orioles outfield on Saturday will be Nelson Cruz in center, Delmon Young in right and Steve Pearce in left. Certainly, that’s a group you wouldn’t normally expect to see together.
Cruz, for what it is worth, has never started a regular season game in the majors at center field. He has played two games – and a total of three innings – in center during the regular season in 2006, when Buck Showalter managed Cruz in Texas.
Chris Tillman gets the start on the mound. It’s expected he’ll try to get at least to four innings today – something Wei-Yin Chen did Friday.
The Yankees also are putting out a different look today. Most of their regulars are in
Panama for a series there. The biggest names they’ve brought to Sarasota are Ichiro Suzuki, Kelly Johnson and former Oriole Brian Roberts.
Here are the lineups:
- Orioles: Markakis DH, Hardy 6, Cruz 8, Davis 3, Pearce 7, Young 9, Schoop 4, Joseph 2, A. Gonzalez 5. Tillman 1.
- Yankees: Suzuki 9, Roberts 4, K. Johnson 5, Romine 2, Flores 7, Williams 8, Roller DH, Angelini 6, Arcia 3. Nuno 1.