Orioles manager Buck Showalter provided surgery and rehab updates during today’s pregame session with the media. He also provided a clearer picture of how his rotation will unfold the rest of the week.
On Cesar Izturis:
“Izzy had his surgery today. It went well. I’m not sure if he’s back home yet, though. The plan was to release him at some point today. We think he is. They found what they thought, moved the nerve over there and six to eight weeks from what I understand. You can backdate it, so it’s less than 60 from now, probably 50, 45, something like that. I haven’t looked at it exactly.”
The six-to-eight weeks is the period when Izturis could begin baseball-related activities.
“If everything goes as planned,” Showalter said, “he’ll be a player for us again this year.”
On Brian Matusz:
“Matusz had his work day today. It went well and he’s going to pitch Friday for Norfolk. That’ll give him one extra day because he would come back before (June 1) anyway if he was pitching here, so we’ll give him the extra day on the front end. He’ll go six to seven innings, 90 pitches this time out.”
The earliest that Matusz could be activated and pitch for the Orioles is June 1 in Seattle.
“Yes, that’s the last day in Seattle, which is also the day for Derrek (Lee) if things go well, if we feel like Brian’s ready to come back and pitch,” Showalter said.
Showalter talked more about Matusz later in his session:
“He was a little different sore after this last outing, and knowing that he wasn’t going to come back to us, potentially, before the first, we could give him an extra day this time. You could either give him an extra day on the back side of it or on the front. He might even take a light side again between his starts to actually keep the ball in his hands a little more.
“If he pitches well and the people that are evaluating like what they are seeing, then he can come back and pitch for us on the first. If not, he’d take another start on the first somewhere else.
“Someone asked, ‘Would you fly him all the way out to Seattle?’ Yes. ‘Would you bring Derrek Lee all the way to Seattle for one game?’ Yes. You know? If I’ve got to flap my wings. But if not, Derrek’s not any given, but Richie was telling me you’ve got to really stretch him around pretty good for him to get any symptoms, so hopefully he’ll be able to take some at-bats here two or three days before that date and join us. That’s the hope, but with these injuries you don’t know.”
Going back to Matusz, Showalter added the following:
“You just don’t look at it as how hard he’s throwing. You look at command, you look at his feel for his pitches and we’ve got something to compare it to. You’re used to guys once they come up here, they’re either going to jump a mile or two miles an hour with the bells and whistles and lights and adrenaline, but Brian isn’t a pure velocity evaluation. It’s how he feels. You take a guy out of big league camp with the minimum of 20 innings.”
On Brian Roberts:
“Roberts is being seen by the guy in Pittsburgh as we speak. They had called Richie (Bancells) a little while ago to fax something over before or while he was seeing him. I haven’t gotten anything new, but I think we’ll get a better feel for it after he sees the guy in Pittsburgh, I’m told. So I checked with Richie on the way down here and he hadn’t heard back from him yet, which tells Richie they’re still seeing him, meeting, evaluating, whatever. I don’t even know if he’s planning on coming back tonight or tomorrow. I know he’s not going to be here tonight.”
On Derrek Lee:
“Derrek’s going to head to Sarasota tomorrow, continue the rehab there as we go westward. Hopefully, he’s ready to take some at-bats here before long, whether they’re down there or somewhere else. I’m not gung-ho about him taking them in extended spring too much, playing dodgeball. I asked him about it and he said, ‘Well I’ve never done it before,’ so he doesn’t really know.”
The rotation after tonight is Jake Arrieta and Jeremy Guthrie against the Royals, and Chris Tillman, Brad Bergesen and Zach Britton in Oakland.