ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Though he’s serving as the Orioles’ designated hitter tonight, Matt Wieters is taking ground balls at first base during batting practice to provide manager Buck Showalter with another option for the lineup.
Wieters won’t be catching until the discomfort in his right elbow subsides following Monday’s MRI and yesterday’s exam in Pensacola, Fla.
Wieters has played one game at first base, making a start in 2011.
Showalter said he wanted to play Delmon Young tonight, but Wieters’ role as the DH pushed him to the bench. Young is 5-for-16 with a home run against Rays left-hander David Price. Wieters is 14-for-38 with a home run.
In order to get Young back in the lineup, Showalter said he would have to move Nick Markakis to first base and put Nelson Cruz in right field.
“We’ll do it on a given night,” Showalter said. “We’re not going to let Delmon sit too long. Delmon’s doing well for us.”
Young is batting .315/.351/.426 with three doubles, a home run and four RBIs in 15 games.
Showalter confirmed that Chris Davis will take live batting practice Friday afternoon at Camden Yards. He wanted to make sure Davis felt good today after fielding ground balls.
Showalter will attend his son Nathan’s graduation from Texas Christian University on Saturday, but hopes to return in time for the 7:05 p.m. game against the Astros at Camden Yards. However, he will miss the May 17 game in Kansas City to attend his daughter Allie’s graduation from law school at Southern Methodist University.
Kevin Gausman remains scheduled to start Saturday for Triple-A Norfolk after going on the minor league disabled list with pneumonia.
Dylan Bundy threw a 50-pitch bullpen session today in Sarasota and will throw live batting practice on Tuesday. He should pitch in an extended spring training game in less than two weeks.
Asked whether he’d prefer having four right-handers in his bullpen instead of four lefties, Showalter replied, “I’d prefer to have seven guys down there who can get people out. How it stacks up, I think sometimes we get too preoccupied with that.
“It depends on what the setup is. It’s tough to use Darren (O’Day) and (Ryan) Webb in the same game if you can help it, but I’m going to do it to win a baseball game. If you feel like you’ve got a chance to win a baseball game, you go for it.”