BRADENTON, Fla. - We had a flurry of roster activity this afternoon, with pitchers Brad Bergesen and Jason Berken, and infielder Matt Antonelli optioned to Triple-A Norfolk; pitcher Dontrelle Willis, infielder Steve Tolleson, catcher John Hester and outfielder Scott Beerer reassigned to minor league camp; and second baseman Brian Roberts and pitcher Zach Britton going on the 15-day disabled list.
One more pitcher will be reassigned, but he hadn’t been informed before batting practice.
Update: Pitcher Armando Galarraga was reassigned. The Orioles have 35 players on their camp roster, including Roberts and Britton.
Bergesen and Berken will be starters at Norfolk.
Manager Buck Showalter stopped short of naming Rule 5 pick Ryan Flaherty the utility infielder, saying that Antonelli and Tolleson could be brought back. However, Flaherty is expected to head north with the team.
Also, Alfredo Simon (groin) is close to getting back in a game. He’s still viewed as a rotation and bullpen candidate, and Showalter indicated that Simon’s role could depend on how Tsuyoshi Wada fares in Tuesday’s start against the Twins.
Matt Lindstrom and Kevin Gregg each threw two innings today in a minor league game.
Outfielder Endy Chavez (outfielder) took batting practice and ran. He’s nearing a return.
Catcher Ronny Paulino will leave the team on Tuesday to undergo a minor medical procedure.
Catcher Taylor Teagarden (back) is doing some light throwing.
Asked about Roberts going on the 15-day DL instead of the 60-day, Showalter said, “We don’t need him on the 60. You always make sure you cover yourself with that, and you never know what’s going to happen. We’re just not at that point, yet. We don’t need that spot, either.”
Flying with the team to Baltimore “is another step for him,” Showalter said. “You think about how the environment would change if he stayed here. And he’s been through this before. It’s kind of like sending a guy back to the Gulf Coast League for the second year in a row, where you know what’s going on. It’s a good step for him to be there with his teammates, with the club. He’s been away from that environment for a long time.”
Showalter said it’s unlikely that Roberts will fly to Anaheim - he could work out with Double-A Bowie - but he’ll probably go to Toronto and Chicago.
As for Bergesen and Berken, Showalter said, “The plan right now is for both of those guys to start in Norfolk. I talked to both of them about it and they seem to be upbeat about starting down there. We just feel like we have some people ahead of them right now. Berken got behind the eight ball because of the leg. I hope they pitch well and present options for us as starters. It’s not like they’re going away. Hopefully, they’ll be depth for us and impact our club. That’s going to kind of be up to them.”
Asked about the impressions made by Tolleson and Beerer, Showalter said, “They’re baseball players. I think they’re smart and I think they understand the game. They’re versatile. That group is a big upgrade from last spring, without throwing anybody under the bus.”