TAMPA - Orioles manager Buck Showalter expects outfielder Henry Urrutia to be available in a couple of days. Urrutia has been bothered by inflammation in his right shoulder, but told reporters today that he felt much better.
Showalter estimated that reliever Edgmer Escalona will be shut down for three weeks due to inflammation in his right shoulder.
Escalona had an MRI after Saturday’s game in Port Charlotte, when he allowed five runs in one inning.
“He saw two different doctors,” Showalter said. “Got a second opinion and decided to shut him down for three weeks and see where he is. He hasn’t had any type of injection or anything yet as of today.”
Showalter said he’s “excited” about the signing of veteran left-hander Johan Santana to a minor league contract.
“I think it’s great,” he said. “I’m not going to say no risk, as far as, I’m not the owner, but it’s another thing that Peter (Angelos) allowed us to do that puts us in position to get kind of lucky. I’m not going to say it’s a no lose proposition. There are things you lose, but it makes a risk worth taking. I think it’s exciting, the possibility down the road. I’m hoping we get five starters who pitch so well, we don’t need it, but pedigree speaks for itself, especially with the people that have been ...
“We have some people here who I really trust their background and their opinion with Johan. Talked to him yesterday. In addition to Eduardo (Rodriguez). Eduardo said, ‘When I was a little bitty boy, I saw you pitch.’ I think he’s 15 wins behind Freddy Garcia for the all-time winningest pitcher from Venezuela in the big leagues. That’s a big thing. If he can get his velocity to the point where he has enough separation with his changeup ...
“It’s intriguing for me to look at 2012, when he was hurt a lot, and he still averaged a strikeout per inning. That’s a big thing. If he can just handle the workload. It’s one thing to be able to get back. Can you withstand the workload? I think (Bret) Saberhagen had a very similar surgery. We know that was a long time ago and some of the things have been upgraded. It’s good to have somebody like Chris Correnti who has a history with his shoulder and has seen all the stuff from the get-go on it. Knows Rick Petereson a little bit. We’ll see. I think it’s a good risk.
“He should be here for tomorrow. Start trying to map out some things once we sit down with him and Chris and Dave (Wallace). There were some people interested in him and I’d like to think he picked us as much as we picked him.”
Santana could help the Orioles off the mound by mentoring some of the young pitchers.
“The one common denominator when you talk to people about him is he’s a good teammate, very engaging,” Showalter said. “A guy like Eduardo alone. He’s going to impact some young guys. He’s another guy who’s been there that’s been in the arena for some very good clubs. I kind of lose sight that he’s only (34). It’s not some guy trying to come back at 38.”
Showalter doesn’t envision Santana working out of the bullpen despite some early speculation.
“I see him as a starter right now,” he said. “With necessity, you never know. I think he’d stand up better physically that way. I hope he’s pitching at Norfolk at some point. We’ve got to map that out, the progression and what’s happening. He’s got a locker and a number. Mr. (Francisco) Peguero has a new number and he may be able to drive through Chik-fil-A a little easier now.”
Peguero is wearing No. 57 tonight, but he will change digits this week.
Brian Roberts visited his former teammates behind the batting cage and later met with the Baltimore media in the Yankees dugout.
“I’m happy for him,” Showalter said. “He’s in a good place in his life in a lot of ways. I’m glad it worked out well for everybody. He’s in a good place. Wish it had been somewhere else. I wish it was in the National League, but those things happen. He’s in a good spot. I’m happy or him - he and his wife and everybody.
“I didn’t have the great fortune to be able to see him as much as everybody else, but Brian’s very smart. A great leadoff guy, deep in the count. He’s a baseball player. Everything you associate with a veteran, he’ll bring. Threat from both sides of the plate. And he’s got a little more thump than people think. He’s more than, some people want to say ‘pesky.’ He’s more than that.
“I hope he’s healthy for his sake, but not for the Yankees’ sake. I think he will be, too. It’s all about timing sometimes. He’ll do every bit of work it takes to be on the field. That’s never been a question”