Bench coach Willie Randolph is coaching third base today. John Russell had a cortisone injection in his knee.
I don’t mean to bombard you with blog entries on this sunny day, when you’re attention is divided evenly between baseball, the Preakness and the end of the world, but here are some pregame comments from manager Buck Showalter.
On how he’s not concerned whether Simon will be focused on baseball:
“No, I don’t have that concern at this point. I think he’s ready to go. He’s been pitching pretty well over there, feels good physically and basically got through the spring training period.”
On whether he senses that Simon is grateful for being here and understands that his actions will be under scrutiny:
“My initial impressions are yes, but we’ll see.”
On whether he’s confident that another bullpen move won’t be necessary:
“We’ll see how the day goes. We were hoping we wouldn’t have to do this going into last night, so I hope Jeremy (Guthrie) pitches well and we don’t have to play extra innings. We’re certainly willing to play extra innings and win and make another move if we have to.”
On whether he’s concerned that Brian Roberts will be on the DL longer than seven days:
“You think about it when you listen to some of the diagnoses about what it may be, so I think that’s pretty much a given. We originally had hopes he would play Tuesday and you hold out hope he’ll be able to play then, but I also know the reality of some of the diagnoses. Talking to him today, some of the headaches have gone away, which is a good sign.”
On whether Lee will be ready when his 15 days are up:
“Obviously, I think Derrek is going to have to get some at-bats just to test it. To say I’m confident he’ll be able to play after 15 days, I wouldn’t say that for sure with these injuries and the way they’re happening in baseball. I know, symptoms and everything, after we DL’d him we feel good about that move. I’m really hoping more than anything. I’m not confident that he’s a player after the 15 days. Because he’s a kick in the pants for us, a lot of presence and obviously, defensively, really impacts us.
“I can’t think of anyone who had these symptoms and didn’t eventually go on the DL. Sometimes by waiting a few days you end up losing him for 20 or 30 days, sometimes months.”