WASHINGTON - Orioles backup catcher Taylor Teagarden caught five innings yesterday at extended spring training and served as the designated hitter today. He will catch seven innings on Wednesday and head out on an injury rehab assignment.
"He's coming along real well, so that's encouraging," said manager Buck Showalter.
Teagarden could be activated from the 15-day disabled list next week.
Second baseman Brian Roberts is hitting off a tee and increasing his baseball activity in Sarasota, and Wilson Betemit started to throw today. Showalter is encouraged by their progress.
Showalter believes that Roberts could be ready once the six-week period expires from the date of his hamstring surgery. Roberts underwent the procedure on May 9.
"He's on schedule," Showalter said. "Today, he started increasing his baseball activities, his tee work and soft toss, and he felt fine. So, each day... I know him, he wants it to happen tomorrow, but I don't think it's 'if,' it's 'when' with Brian, and with all those guys.
"Wilson's a little bit of a forgotten guy in this thing. He did a lot of good things for us last year and we're looking forward to getting him back."
Showalter said left-hander Wei-Yin Chen is making "a little progress, but not anything big" in his recovery from a strained right oblique.
"Little by little," Showalter said. "It's so hard to handicap that, but he's doing OK."
Triple-A infielder Jonathan Schoop will receive a second opinion on his lower back Wednesday in California. Schoop has been diagnosed with a stress fracture.
"We should hear something on that, hopefully sometime tomorrow," Showalter said.
Baseball is mourning the passing today of renowned orthopedic specialist and Angels team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum, who fought a courageous and private battle with liver cancer. He was 65.
"Real proud of the work that he's done, making people's lives better for a long time," Showalter said. "Sad day."
Showalter, third base coach Bobby Dickerson and a group of players that included Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy, T.J. McFarland, Chris Dickerson and Danny Valencia spent the morning visiting patients at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
"It's tough. I really appreciate a lot of our players going today," Showalter said.
"The thing that catches you is their upbeat nature, and the parents and wives and fiances and brothers and sisters. And how unbelievable the facility is and the people who work there. I challenge everybody to go there sometime.
"It gives some people a completely different perspective. And for some people, it verifies it. It makes you realize the price you pay for everything. It's one of those things where, I can't tell you that you look forward to it initially, but after you're done, you're glad you went.
"I talked to one of the Navy SEALs who lost both of his legs, and another guy who had just been shot over there about two weeks ago. And they told us to engage them about how it happened. The one common denominator is they're all trying to figure out a way to get back over there and help again, and how strongly they believe in what they were doing."
Today's visit puts the game of baseball in its proper perspective.
"I try to remind our guys of that all the time," Showalter said. "It's very important to a lot of people what we do, but in the whole scheme of life, every once in a while it kind of jolts you back to the reality of what's actually going on, compared to the rest of the world.
"We're very lucky. Anybody talking about a tough road trip or a tough plane ride or whatever, it's a pretty good gig."
(Photo courtesy of the Orioles)
Update: The Nats announced that tonight's first pitch will be delayed because of rain.
They're not expecting a long delay, but we're in a holding pattern while rain continues to fall and the tarp is on the field.