Showalter pregame updates on Lee, Duchscherer, Fox and more

Derrek Lee will bat leadoff and serve as the designated hitter tonight for Double-A Bowie. Showalter said it's not certain how many games Lee will play with Bowie.

He did say the plans for his grandfather's funeral were finalized and it will be next Friday in California. Lee will leave the team Thursday (he likely would be activated by then) and perhaps be placed on bereavement leave where he can come off the roster for several days.

"We'll go day-to-day with that (Lee)," Showalter said. "Let's get through tonight and I'll have a better idea after talking to him. It's not like he's been out for a month. He was just starting to do what Derrek usually does that time of the year. Hopefully he can pick up where he left off."

Justin Duchshcerer pitched four innings in an extended spring training game and he will be expected to throw five innings his next time out. Showalter said Duchscherer took a line drive in the stomach, but he kept pitching. His outing yesterday went well, the skipper said.

Showalter said he has not decided yet which pitcher will start next Tuesday, the next time the Orioles need a fifth starter.

"Tuesday's starter will be determined by what goes on over the weekend," he said. "We've got three or four options there. You can look at whose day falls there down below plus we have options there with Simon and Jakubauskus."

Showalter was asked if the club is close to trading Jake Fox, who was designated for assignment Wednesday.

"I talked to Andy (MacPhail) about some other things, he's on his way to Sarasota I believe for the draft," Showalter said. "That is a 10-day process that might go right down to the end. I know Andy had some conversations with people over the last week or so and it looked like we might end up there. But I have not heard anything to lead me to believe someone has expressed interest enough right now to make a deal but that could change."

Coming up later today: Showalter talks about Nick Markakis' struggles at the plate.

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