Roster rumblings

Second baseman Brian Roberts will return to Camden Yards today, take batting practice and wait to be activated on Sunday.

For fans questioning whether he's ready to come off the disabled list after being removed from last night's game at Triple-A Norfolk because of rain, I'll respond by asking if you're really serious. Of course he should have come out of the game. Why risk injury on a wet minor league field to a guy coming off surgery on his hamstring?

No team would have taken that chance. It was absolutely the right decision, a necessary precaution. The idea is to get him back to Baltimore healthy and ready to start at second base Sunday night on ESPN. In no way does it reflect whether he's "ready."

OK, thanks. Let's move on to another topic related to Roberts.

The Orioles don't need to make room for him on the 40-man roster. Freddy Garcia came off it this week. But who comes off the 25-man roster?

I've been asked this question on the blog and Twitter approximately 25 times a day. I'm just speculating like everyone else.

First baseman Travis Ishikawa would be a logical choice. The Orioles like having him around to provide rest for Chris Davis, who can serve as the designated hitter. And they want to keep him away from the Yankees, who would jump at the chance to sign him. However, his time would appear to be running out.

Of course, the Orioles could option Ryan Flaherty and allow him to play every day at Triple-A Norfolk, rather than sit on the bench. That's another possibility.

Flaherty's bat has heated up, but he's still hitting .208.

Alexi Casilla is making $1.7 million. I'm going to assume that he's staying.

The interesting player, to me, is infielder Danny Valencia. The Orioles want to keep him through the series against the White Sox that starts Tuesday in Chicago. They're scheduled to face three left-handers, and that doesn't include Chris Sale. They're also likely to see left-hander Andy Pettitte next Saturday in the Bronx.

I thought that I had it figured out before Kevin Gausman worked 4 1/3 innings last night. I guessed that the Orioles would somehow remove Ishikawa from the roster on Sunday to make room for Roberts, and send down Gausman on Tuesday when they activated Nolan Reimold from the disabled list. Then, Valencia could be optioned once left-hander Wei-Yin Chen came off the disabled list and started next weekend.

Keep in mind that the Orioles are off Monday, so the starters are being pushed back.

Anyway, all bets are off now because the Orioles may need to make a roster move today to add another reliever. I'm not sure how it may impact Gausman. I'm not even sure they're going to do it.

Who's the long man tonight if left-hander Zach Britton is knocked out early? Not Gausman. Not T.J. McFarland. Not Tommy Hunter.

Troy Patton? Pedro Strop?

The Orioles may gamble that they could piece together the rest. We'll see.

Since the start of the 2012 season, the Orioles are 13-12 against the Yankees in the regular season.

Manny Machado has 37 doubles, the second-most through the end of June since 1921, according to STATS. Edgar Martinez had 39 in 1996.

He's still only 20.

Nate McLouth has reached base in 31 of his last 35 games since May 17 and is batting .307 with 14 multi-hit games.

Shameless plug alert: It's been a while, but I'm back on "Wall to Wall Baseball" from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on MASN. Phone the neighbors and wake up the kids.

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