This, that and the other

The Orioles are in Pittsburgh for the next three games, which reminds me of the 1971 and 1979 World Series.

I’ll get over it one of these days.

Derrek Lee looks pretty comfortable in the National League, so let him continue to bat cleanup. He was 9-for-13 against the Nationals. He’s 3-for-6 lifetime against Pirates right-hander Charlie Morton. No reason to move him.

You already know how I feel about J.J. Hardy in the leadoff role. Definitely no reason to move him.

Hardy hit his eighth home run yesterday and also doubled and walked. He totaled six homers in 101 games with the Twins last season. He had 11 in 115 games with the Brewers in 2009.

The power is back.

“It’s good,” he said. “I feel like I’ve gotten some pitches to hit and I haven’t missed them.”

His defense has impressed me the most. He makes every play. It’s just a shame that his only error came on a foul pop up that he tried to run down after Mark Reynolds couldn’t get to it. He was basically penalized for his hustle.

Reynolds is 2-for-6 with four strikeouts against Morton. He came within a triple of hitting for the cycle yesterday while raising his average to .217, the highest it’s been since April 18.

Reynolds remains a curiosity. You can focus on the low average, the 74 strikeouts and the 15 errors, or you can focus on the team-leading 13 home runs, 14 doubles and 38 walks, and the 36 RBIs that rank second behind Adam Jones’ 38.

Asked yesterday if he feels like he’s getting into the zone, Reynolds said, “Yeah, we’re in the NL. It’s awesome. No, I’m just joking. Yeah, obviously my comfort level’s growing every day being in a new league, starting to play teams twice. And by no means is that an excuse for the start of the season. I was not very good. But a couple hits here and there, your confidence goes up and you start stringing a few good games together.”

Craig Tatum will return to the bench tonight, but he’s 2-for-3 with four RBIs off Morton.

Luke Scott will try to get off the bench. It depends on how his back is feeling.

Was manager Buck Showalter serious when he told reporters that he would have used Scott to pinch-run for Chris Jakubauskas in the sixth inning if the pitcher had reached second base? We have our doubts.

We should find out today whether Jeremy Guthrie will make tomorrow night’s start against the Pirates. He threw in the bullpen yesterday. It depends on how his back is feeling. Same as Scott.

Second baseman Brian Roberts will join the team and work out, though he’s still prohibited from doing any baseball activities.

Let’s hope that Brian Matusz can get out of bed and touch his toes again, just as he did yesterday. I haven’t been able to touch my toes in years, and my hamstring is fine.

Going back to Morton, he’s a former third-round draft pick of the Atlanta Braves who’s 7-3 with a 3.21 ERA in 13 starts this season. He’s allowed one earned run or fewer in six starts, two or fewer in nine and three or fewer in 10. However, he’s also walked 34 batters in 84 innings.

I found it interesting that the Diamondbacks signed left-hander Alberto Castillo to a minor league contract on Wednesday. I didn’t know he left the organization. Then again, I didn’t know he remained in the organization this spring until seeing him in Sarasota.

Mlbtraderumors reported that the Orioles designated Castillo for assignment on June 10. That was 2010. He’s been off the 40-man roster for more than a year.

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