Garcia starting Thursday against Royals

The Orioles’ rotation isn’t set in Minnesota this weekend because of the uncertain status of Miguel Gonzalez, who left his last start with a blister on his right thumb. However, Freddy Garcia will close the three-game series against the Royals by taking the mound Thursday at Camden Yards.

Garcia will be working on regular rest after making his Orioles debut Saturday in Anaheim and taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He was charged with two runs and three hits in 6 2/3 innings.

Jason Hammel also will be on normal rest when he starts Friday against the Twins.

Gonzalez could start the following night, depending on his bullpen session Thursday at Camden Yards. He will throw with a bandage covering his blister, which will make it more difficult for the Orioles to determine whether he’s physically able to pitch this weekend.

Gonzalez could go on the disabled list if he’s unable to start, since the move would be backdated to May 4. Manager Buck Showalter didn’t want to speculate earlier today on a potential roster move, but he acknowledged that it’s a possibility.

Showalter said the Orioles could use a reliever Saturday or summon a pitcher from the minors. Steve Johnson is currently listed as Saturday’s starter for Triple-A Norfolk.

Part of the decision on Gonzalez hinges on the state of the bullpen. Showalter will be less inclined to start a pitcher who might need to come out of the game after a few innings if he doesn’t have a long reliever available.

There’s still no update on Brian Roberts, who had an appointment this morning with Dr. Daniel Cooper in Dallas.

Wilson Betemit, on the disabled list with a Grade 2/3 tear in his PCL, still hasn’t been cleared for baseball activities in Sarasota. He’s doing treadmill exercises.

Betemit is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list at the end of this month, and Showalter said it’s “still in play.” However, Showalter added that it’s probably a stretch.

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