Pie and Gonzo might take longer (updated)

Though a final decision hasn't been made, it's becoming more likely that Felix Pie will join the Orioles on the second leg of their road trip in Detroit.

There's still a chance that Pie will be activated Friday, when the Orioles begin a three-game series in Boston, but team officials want him to receive more starts in left field on his injury rehab assignment before removing him from the disabled list.

Pie will be re-evaluated after tonight's game at Double-A Bowie. He went 4-for-5 with a double last night, beating out two infield hits.

"We would like to see him play the outfield and throw some more if he's going to come up and step right into the lineup," interim manager Juan Samuel said. "We'll see where this thing goes the next few days.

"That's an area where they're being a little more cautious with him, his throwing, so that's probably the one thing that's been the slowest. We have to understand we're almost halfway through the season. This is kind of his spring training right now, so we have to be very careful so that when he's here, he's ready to help us."

Michael Gonzalez allowed three hits in 1 1/3 innings last night at short-season Single-A Aberdeen. The Orioles are satisfied with the velocity on his fastball, but they have other concerns.

"His command was not where we wanted it to be," Samuel said. "His breaking ball is not where we think it should be. We're just going to continue to monitor his progress. I think he's going to continue to pitch down below and see where he is."

It's obvious that Pie is much closer to returning than Gonzalez, which probably comes as no surprise to anyone who's been following this team.

Aberdeen hits the road tomorrow and will leave Gonzalez behind. Double-A Bowie's homestand runs through Sunday, so Gonzalez is headed for the Eastern League.

Samuel doesn't have anything new to report on Brian Roberts after speaking to the second baseman on Monday.

"He's still doing light baseball activities," Samuel said.

I'll stop asking.

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