Derrek Lee went 2-for-3 with a walk last night at Double-A Bowie, proving that you don't have to be a prototypical leadoff hitter to bat first.
Manager Buck Showalter and president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail have discussed whether Lee is ready to come off the disabled list. We'll get confirmation later today.
You can believe that Showalter wants him in tonight's lineup.
Does Lee slip back into the third spot in the order once he's activated? That's the assumption. And does Nick Markakis move up to second, with Adam Jones being lowered again?
Markakis still doesn't have an extra-base hit since May 15. If it hasn't become an issue yet, we're getting real close.
I missed Showalter's pregame session with the media yesterday, but it sounds like the club will option a reliever to make room for Lee. The Orioles have a four-man rotation and nine-man bullpen.
Chris Jakubauskas pitched two scoreless innings last night. He's a candidate to be sent down unless Showalter wants another long reliever on the staff besides Alfredo Simon - though Jeremy Accardo is capable of giving him multiple innings.
Pedro Viola is another candidate to be sent down unless Showalter wants a third left-hander with Michael Gonzalez struggling again and right-handers hitting .750 against Clay Rapada.
A pitcher leaving means second baseman Ryan Adams is staying, but how much longer can the Orioles carry him if he's not going to play?
Adams has made only three starts and accumulated only 12 at-bats with the Orioles. He was hitting .303 at Triple-A Norfolk.
It's fine to expose Adams to a major league environment, but the Orioles aren't accelerating his development by sitting him on the bench while Robert Andino continues to get most of the action. At what point do they return him to the Tides and let someone else watch Andino?
Shameless plug alert: If you're looking for something to watch today, I'll be joining Tom Davis and Dave Johnson on Wall to Wall Baseball from noon to 2 p.m. on MASN. Once we're done, I'll head over to Camden Yards for tonight's game.
It's business as usual after I was marked absent yesterday.