On the road again

I'm taking my 10-3 road record to St. Petersburg, Fla. for the three-game series against the Rays, following by a flight to Boston for a three-game series against the Red Sox.

If nothing else, I'm guaranteed of still being above .500 when I return home.

Nick Markakis is expected to meet with reporters at Tropicana Field this afternoon after undergoing surgery to remove a broken hamate bone in his right wrist. It's a 15-20 minute procedure - the ultimate in out-patient surgery. The only thing missing is a drive-thru window.

The optimistic estimation is two-to-four weeks before Markakis returns to the active roster, but it could be six. It could be more. There's no way of knowing on this date.

The Orioles most likely will have to make a 40-man roster move to create space for whichever player takes Markakis' spot. None of the candidates mentioned at this point are on it, and I'm including Lew Ford, Jamie Hoffman, Jai Miller, Bill Hall and Miguel Tejada.

Hall was removed for a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning last night in Pawtucket. Should we read anything into it? A right-handed hitter, Carlos Rojas, batted for him. Hall also bats right-handed.

Curious.

Ford homered off Daisuke Matsuzaka. He's hitting .386 with three homers and seven RBIs in 13 games.

Here's the 40-man roster as it currently stands:

Pitchers:
Jake Arrieta
Luis Ayala
Jason Berken
Zach Britton
Dylan Bundy
Wei-Yin Chen
Oliver Drake
Dana Eveland
Miguel Gonzalez
Kevin Gregg
Jason Hammel
Tommy Hunter
Jim Johnson
Matt Lindstrom
Brian Matusz
Darren O'Day
Troy Patton
Zach Phillips
Stuart Pomeranz
Pedro Strop
Chris Tillman

Catchers:
Luis Exposito
Ronny Paulino
Matt Wieters

Infielders:
Ryan Adams
Robert Andino
Wilson Betemit
Chris Davis
Ryan Flaherty
J.J. Hardy
Nick Johnson
Joe Mahoney
Mark Reynolds
Brian Roberts
Steve Tolleson

Outfielders:
Xavier Avery
Endy Chavez
Adam Jones
Nick Markakis
Nolan Reimold

The Orioles could end up making three roster moves on the first day of June. That's pretty much the standard pace for them.

Maybe Pomeranz gets transferred to the 60-day disabled list if the Orioles don't think he'll return anytime soon from a torn oblique. That would be one way to open up a spot on the 40-man roster.

Left-hander Zach Britton had another good outing at Double-A Bowie, allowing one earned run (two total) and five hits in seven innings, with one walk and five strikeouts. He threw 92 pitches. He's stretched out enough to be activated from the disabled list on this road trip.

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