Post-workout notes

SARASOTA, Fla. - Rick VandenHurk will follow Jeremy Guthrie to the mound in the second exhibition game. Left-hander Zach Britton will replace Justin Duchscherer in the third game.

Manager Buck Showalter doesn't seem overly concerned about second baseman Brian Roberts' neck.

"Muscle spasm. Nothing other than that. Trapezius. Is that right? Day-to-day," Showalter said.

"They didn't see any disk issues or anything. It is what it is. We've all woke up with a stiff neck."

Showalter didn't react differently because it's Roberts. The media sure did, but not the manager.

"Not yet. This is kind of different, I think." Showalter said. "It's Feb. 20-whatever. He missed a day. We'll try to get him back on the field tomorrow."

Showalter confirmed that Derrek Lee could take batting practice Friday or Saturday. Lee told me earlier today that he's aiming for Friday.

"I don't have to slow him down," Showalter said. "He did ask me, 'When's that intraquad game?' I said, 'You are not in the intrasquad game.'

"I'm just going to trust him right now. I trust him, period, but with something like this, no reason to get ahead of ourselves. I know exactly what, not to an at-bat, but I have a pretty good idea of what he's going to need. He knows it better than I do. He may think he needs four weeks of at-bats, and there's always ways to get at-bats."

The Orioles might play an intrasquad game March 30 after the final exhibition game.

Pitchers threw live batting practice today, most of them without the protective screen. Vladimir Guerrero hit a sharp grounder up the middle that missed Koji Uehara.

Jason Berken was especially satisfied with his changeup today.

"I felt great," he said. "Today, it felt like everything came together for the first time. I felt like I was in sync. The ball was coming out good. I've been focusing a lot on my changeup, and my changeup was really good, as well. I'm happy with the way things went today."


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