MacPhail on Roberts & Gonzalez

In a brief conversation a few minutes ago, O's president Andy MacPhail sounded like a man about to make a roster move that could send Brian Roberts to the disabled list officially later today.

"If we err, we'll err on the conservative side. Also, in the not too distant future we're going to hop on a plane from Baltimore to Oakland and from Oakland to Seattle and on to Boston. We are crossing the country twice, so that will play into our decision as well."

MacPhail doesn't believe Roberts current abdominal strain will turn into a more serious, longer term issue.

"Had we thought it was something terribly severe, we would have put him on the DL yesterday and had a player here today or two days ago for that matter. When you are just starting the season you have so much in front of you, the better course of action is the more conservative."

MacPhail also addressed the topic of struggling closer Mike Gonzalez.

"We've got to tighten it up and get those last three outs. It's deflating when you don't close it out. His track record is pretty significant that they don't really hit him. He's scuffling right now, not unlike the situation that George Sherrill went through last year. He got himself out of it and had a pretty nice run closing games.

"His delivery is not markedly different, that unusual style he pitches with is the same thing he used in Atlanta. That's really something better determined by Kranny and Mike himself."

Will the O's need to use Gonzalez in less pressurized situations while he gets his mechanics straightened out?

"Those are things they have to decide at the field level in terms of what makes sense given the situation. How he can most benefit himself and the team, whether that means an earlier appearance than the ninth inning, that's really something that Kranny and Dave have to sort through and figure out what makes the most sense."

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