Last day in Sarasota

Has it really been almost seven weeks?

I’ll be loading up the rental car and driving to St. Petersburg tomorrow morning so I can attend the 3 p.m. workout at Tropicana Field. In the meantime, it’s pretty quiet today because the Sarasota complex is closed to the media and most of the players have scattered.

Brad Bergesen is throwing a few innings before making his regular-season debut Friday at Camden Yards. And I still have to pause while figuring out the days, since the opener is Tuesday.

I guess that’s what happens when you play in a dome and don’t need the rain date.

The 25-man roster is set unless president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail throws us a curveball before 3 p.m. today:

Kevin Millwood
Jeremy Guthrie
Brian Matusz
Brad Bergesen
David Hernandez

Mike Gonzalez
Jim Johnson
Will Ohman
Cla Meredith
Mark Hendrickson
Matt Albers
Jason Berken

Matt Wieters
Craig Tatum

Miguel Tejada
Cesar Izturis
Brian Roberts
Garrett Atkins
Ty Wigginton
Julio Lugo

Nick Markakis
Adam Jones
Nolan Reimold
Felix Pie
Luke Scott

For me, the biggest surprises are Hernandez, Berken and Tatum. I’m not counting Lugo, though I didn’t expect to be typing his name unless I was covering a game in Jupiter.

I expected Chris Tillman to be the fifth starter and Koji Uehara and Kam Mickolio to be included in the bullpen, which would have pushed Hernandez and Berken into Triple-A Norfolk’s rotation and perhaps moved Albers to another organization, since he’s out of options. And Chad Moeller appeared to be a lock as the backup catcher, but growing concerns about his throwing made Tatum the choice at the end.

One official said it would be a “track meet” with Moeller behind the plate.

If you’re hesitant to pick the Orioles to finish above fourth place this season, I ask the following question: How many of your brackets include Butler in the final?

One more piece of business: The Orioles will know tomorrow whether Michael Aubrey cleared waivers and can be outrighted to Norfolk, assuming he isn’t traded.

Happy Easter everyone. May all of your chocolate bunnies be solid ones.

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