The pending roster move

Something doesn't feel right about this morning's blog entry.

Must be the missing Florida dateline.

I'm back in Sykesville, but not for long. It's opening day at Camden Yards and I'll be arriving at the ballpark about 5 1/2 hours before the scheduled first pitch.

I'll be feeding you plenty of blog entries, updates and tweets, so save room. More will be written about second baseman Brian Roberts, who injured his right hamstring yesterday and will undergo an MRI to determine the severity.

Jake Arrieta will start his third straight home opener for the Orioles, with Chris Tillman following him in the rotation on Saturday.

The Orioles must make room for Tillman on the 25-man roster, and manager Buck Showalter alluded to three possibilities yesterday before Roberts' left the game.

Does he have an idea which way the club is leaning?

"Yes we do," Showalter replied, grinning. "We better, right?"

Reporters would have to settle for that response.

"We talked about it a lot and what our options are, and we feel like we've got it set up to go in whatever direction we need to.

"Obviously, Chris is going to be activated Saturday. Look forward to that. I know he is, too. He doesn't feel like he's inactive right now."

Roberts could be placed on the disabled list to make room for Tillman, if Showalter is willing to play with a short bench.

"I think every option is on the table," Showalter said earlier in the day.

"What do you call a short bench? I've had five guys on the bench and thought I had a short bench. It depends who's on the bench, right?

"I'm sure there are some players who felt like we had a short manager."

The bullpen doesn't offer much in the way of maneuverability. Not enough guys with minor league options.

Brian Matusz could be sent down. Arrieta could be optioned after today's start, but he'd have to stay in the minors for at least 10 days. The Orioles could try to slip Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland through waivers, but the Cleveland Indians would gladly take him back.

The Orioles have Alexi Casilla and Ryan Flaherty to replace Roberts. Showalter probably could use the extra reliever after those three games at Tropicana Field.

Stay tuned.

On Saturday, the annual "Birds are Back" rally presented by Orioles Radio Network Affiliate WTTR Radio (1470 AM) will be held at the Town Mall in Westminster from 10 a.m-noon. Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez and former catcher Chris Hoiles are expected to attend and sign autographs for fans.

Also on Saturday, the Under Armour Opening Weekend Rally will be held from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Under Armour Brand House, 700 S. President St. Pitcher Tommy Hunter and former outfielder Larry Sheets are scheduled to appear. Fans can enjoy giveaways, trivia and a raffle with the Operation Orange Rally Crew.

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