BOSTON - Orioles manager Buck Showalter said second baseman Brian Roberts, on the disabled list since April 5 with a ruptured tendon behind his right knee, still hasn’t been cleared to begin baseball activities.
Roberts isn’t walking with a limp, which is a good sign. However, Showalter said it would be a “challenge” for Roberts to be ready in two weeks since suffering the injury.
Steve Johnson and Tsuyoshi Wada are still scheduled to pitch in an extended spring training game Saturday in Sarasota. Johnson is expected to go three innings, Wada two.
Also, Showalter said he’s using Nick Markakis as his designated hitter tonight because he wants to “move that around, like we talked about all along.” He doesn’t want to get locked into using only one or two players in that role.
He also wanted to get Chris Dickerson in tonight’s lineup, and he wanted to make sure that Nolan Reimold would be available to start against left-handers CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte in New York this weekend.
Alexi Casilla is starting at second base. Showalter probably would have started Ryan Flaherty again tonight if he hadn’t gotten a hit last night.
“Some people go the other way,” Showalter said. “I don’t want to think that I think bad of him.”
The cab transporting pitchers Chris Tillman and Miguel Gonzalez to Fenway Park today was involved in a “little fender bender,” Showalter said. “Somebody kind of bumped them from behind. They came in like they were whiplashed, both of them laying on the table.
“They said the worse thing was the cabbie took off after the woman. They said the worst part of it was the three-mile chase. Only Tilly. They had some fun with that.”
Mychal Givens, converted from infielder to pitcher this spring, is throwing his fastball at 92-94 mph as a reliever at Single-A Delmarva. The Orioles selected Givens in the second round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.