This and that

Chris Tillman’s pitch count jumped to 34 after two innings, including 11 to Danny Espinosa to end the second. Espinosa fouled off five straight pitches before taking a third strike. Catcher Matt Wieters threw out Michael Morse attempting to steal second base to complete the double play.

Tillman fell behind, 3-0, to Espinosa, so it was an impressive battle.

Second baseman Brian Roberts will be examined by another concussion specialist Tuesday in Pittsburgh, in case there were any lingering doubts about whether he’d be activated from the disabled list.

Willie Randolph is coaching third base again today. John Russell received an injection in his knee yesterday and might need surgery.

“It’s barking pretty good,” manager Buck Showalter said. “It may be a few days. I don’t know yet. He got injected yesterday and there doesn’t seem to be much improvement here. He may be going down the surgery front if it doesn’t get to the point where he can move.”

Showalter said he won’t let the off days influence when the club activates Brian Matusz from the disabled list. Matusz will join the rotation when he’s ready. However, there’s clearly no need to rush him, as I noted earlier today, with an open date tomorrow and five more in June.

Matusz’s bullpen session on Tuesday will be the deciding factor, but I’m convinced that the Orioles will give him one more start in the minors.

“We’re going to wait to see whether we’re going to bring Brian back for his next start here,” Showalter said. “We’ll see how he feels on Tuesday. I’m not saying that’s not a possibility of him coming back and making his next start here. We’ll see how things go Tuesday. I think we’ll have a really definitive idea.

“He was sore today. We want to make sure he’s sore in the right places on Tuesday. Normally, he would have taken his work day tomorrow. I think it’s a good idea to give him one extra day. That’s the first time he’s been up to 70 pitches and he went that one extra inning, that up and down inning.”

“We kind of look at this as a spring training thing because the guy hadn’t pitched in four or five weeks. The minimum of innings that you’d even think about bringing a guy out of spring training is 20 innings and I think he’s at 14 or 15 now.Talking to Brian about how he feels, he’s getting closer. I hope he feels that way. I was happy with his realistic view of his outing last night, talking to him. But you don’t just evaluate statistically how somebody did if it was good or bad. You’re going to get that normal jump a little bit when a guy gets back up here with the bells and whistles and the lights and the adrenaline and what have you. It’s just good that he feels physically and he’s making progress. That’s a real positive for us.”

Asked if he’s surprised by how long it’s taking Matusz to return, Showalter replied, “Not at all. We tried to tell everybody that from the get go. As soon as he went out, the reports that we got back, Mark (Connor) and the trainers original timetable was the end of May, some time late May, and we’re close to that. It’s not fun to read and think about necessarily, but you want to make sure. There are still some unknowns. It’s the biggest jump in sports. Trying to evaluate guys by what they’ve done statistically at Double-A or Triple-A or Single-A is a real graveyard of mistakes. It’s the biggest jump in sports. I’m telling you. It was pretty interesting hearing some of (Matusz’s) comments about some of the pitches that he got away with.”

I’m told that we are, indeed, having technical issues with the comments and it’s being addressed. Some sort of submission error is preventing them from posting.

I thought you had abandoned me today.

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