Injured trio heading to Sarasota

Second baseman Brian Roberts and relievers Koji Uehara and Alfredo Simon will fly to Sarasota on Friday.

I wonder which one gets the middle seat.

Roberts is eligible to come off the disabled list on June 9, but the first week at the minor league complex will be like spring training for him. He'll have to play in some games and go on an injury rehab assignment.

I wouldn't circle June 9 on my calendar.

"I'm not sure that's an attainable goal, to be honest with you," manager Dave Trembley said.

Reliever Mike Gonzalez is eligible to come off the disabled list on the same day, but forget about it. He's appeared in three extended spring training games without reporting any pain in his shoulder, but his arm strength is lacking, so the Orioles are putting him on a long-toss program for about a week.

President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail spoke with Gonzalez last night. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz received an update from Dave Schmidt, the organization's minor league pitching coordinator.

"There is no problem as far a s pain in his shoulder, this and that," Trembley said. "He just doesn't have the arm strength, he should have, that's why the velocity readings is where they are at.

"The next few days you are not going to see him pitching in any extended spring training games. They are going to put him on an extensive, long-toss throwing program. Mike is fine with it and we think if he does that for a week or so, his arm strength will come back to where it was."

Luke Scott's sore left shoulder has improved dramatically, but he probably won't take batting practice today. He might hit off a tee, and Trembley said it's "50-50" whether he'd use Scott as a pinch-hitter tonight.

Chris Tillman will join the club tomorrow, but only to play catch and fly to Toronto after the game. The Orioles won't confirm that he's coming here because the roster move isn't official until Saturday, which has become a running joke.

Trembley would only describe the pitcher as "thin and invisible, and from Orange County." I asked if his name rhymes with Liss Millman.

Mark Hendrickson is the only reliever not available tonight. Will Ohman only threw 15 pitches last night and will gladly take the ball again if needed.

Trembley will gladly hand it to him.

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