We’re still waiting on the corresponding roster moves to create room for Xavier Avery on the 25- and 40-man rosters. Left-hander Dana Eveland remains a strong possibility, though I said the same thing yesterday before finding out that Mark Reynolds had a strained oblique.
Avery is being thrown into the fire, starting in left field and batting leadoff against James “Big Game” Shields.
“We’ll play him some, today. We’ll see what tomorrow brings,” manager Buck Showalter said.
“He’s familiar with us and the players and the people. Xavier’s done a good job taking some of the things he was exposed to in major league camp and taking them over to Norfolk. I think it was a good experience for him. And Ronnie (Johnson) in Norfolk is on the same page. Just hope to keep it going. He’s doing well down there. Ronnie’s done a good job of moving him around between left and center.
“There’s going to be some anxiety with him, I’m sure. It’s like the guy keeps asking if your arm hurts, and after the fifth or sixth time you’re like, ‘Well, I guess it does a little bit.’ It’s kind of like a young player. If you keep asking, ‘Are you nervous?’ Or, ‘Do you have anxiety?’ After a while they go, ‘Gosh, I guess I’m supposed to be.’ He came in and we discussed Georgia football and baseball.
“We’ll see. There’s some unknown. That’s why it’s fun to watch. I’m looking forward to seeing him play. He’s got a tough proposition in Shields, one of the best pitchers in the American League, but there are a lot of really good pitchers. I think that’s the biggest jump in the level, the quality of pitching you see day in and day out.”
Jason Hammel (knee) is still scheduled to pitch tomorrow night against the Yankees at Camden Yards. His right knee is feeling better.
Hammel will oppose Ivan Nova. Wei-Yin Chen will oppose CC Sabathia on Tuesday. The Orioles don’t have a starter listed for Wednesday in Kansas City. Tommy Hunter could make that start if he’s still here.
Nolan Reimold still is experiencing tingling in his left fingers and forearm. He received an epidural on Friday and will be re-examined tomorrow. It takes three to five days for the shot to work its magic.
The Orioles also will learn the extent of reliever Matt Lindstrom’s right middle finger injury after his MRI is read tomorrow.
Reimold is eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday, but he’s won’t be ready. He’ll have to go down to Sarasota first to rehab, and then report to an affiliate to get more at-bats.
Lindstrom, Reynolds and Endy Chavez also will report to Sarasota at some point. Tsuyoshi Wada will be down there May 21. The Orioles have joked about chartering a plane to save some money.
Showalter said he still believes that Brad Bergesen, designated for assignment yesterday, has a chance to pitch in the majors again and make a contribution.
“We don’t think that door’s closed. We’ll see what happens,” Showalter said.
“There have been some pitchers that have done well that have gone through the track that he’s followed. Until this period ends, I don’t know if it’s fair for me to really comment on the whole thing. There’s aprocess still going on. A lot could happen between now and when the period is over, when his status is in flux. I’d rather wait. I don’t want to handicap it.”
Showalter told reporters that Triple-A Norfolk second baseman Ryan Adams injured his hand last night.
Single-A Frederick infielder Ty Kelly and left-hander Rick Zagone were promoted to Norfolk.
For the Rays:
Ben Zobrist RF
B.J. Upton CF
Matt Joyce LF
Luke Scott DH
Carlos Pena 1B
Jeff Keppinger 3B
Will Rhymes 2B
Chris Gimenez C
Elliot Johnson SS
James Shields RHP