SARASOTA, Fla. - Senior citizens were invited to run the bases after today’s 7-4 loss to the Blue Jays.
Brady Anderson walked past me on the field and asked whether I was going to run.
Manager Buck Showalter basically has two decisions remaining before the Orioles break camp and head to St. Petersburg for Thursday’s workout.
Showalter must decide whether Chris Tillman or Brad Bergesen makes Sunday’s start at Tropicana Field. But he’ll also need to know whether Bergesen or Brian Matusz require a stop on the disabled list.
Bergesen is scheduled to throw two or three innings tomorrow against a collection of minor league hitters. Jake Arrieta will pitch six innings, according to Showalter, but only if the right-hander isn’t needed to take Matusz’s turn on Saturday.
Showalter will know Matusz’s status before the 1 p.m. simulated game. The left-hander is supposed to play catch tomorrow morning.
Mark Reynolds fouled two balls off his foot, which made Showalter hold his breath for a few seconds.
Derrek Lee got through today’s game without incident. He’s heating up at the right time with three hits, an RBI and a run scored. He won’t play tomorrow.
Showalter said left-hander Zach Britton thanked the club for the chance to pitch this spring.
“He was impressive,” Showalter said.
“He made some progress with some of the secondary stuff. It’s like Curt Schilling told me one time, ‘I go out there out of 30 starts, maybe eight or seven times all year where everything’s there.’ It’s how you defend yourself and keep your team in the game. Zach did his part, came in here as advertised and we’re certainly glad he’s on our side.”
Asked how much contractual obligations played into the decision to send down Britton, Showalter replied, “I think Zach’s got a few things he still needs to fine-tune. We’re certainly not going to put him in the bullpen out of spring training. He’ll go down and do his part and we’ll see where we are down the road.”
Showalter noted with a grin that he didn’t really answer the question.
Showalter also offered another reminder that the roster will undergo some changes in April and beyond. He needed to make sure Craig Tatum understood after calling the catcher into his office.
“What happens this time of year is they dwell so much on the finality - what’s today, the 29th of March? - and not what could happen shortly,” Showalter said. “We’ll see once our rotation settles in and our bullpen. We’ll be tweaking some things as we go. They don’t really want to hear that right now, but Craig did some good things for us last year and he’ll get an opportunity again if he takes care of his end of the bargain. He’s also got more important things going on in his life right now.”