Orioles Inside Pitch- 5/23

Orioles Inside Pitch- 5/23

Roberts could finally be close to returning to the Orioles lineup.

INSIDE PITCH

The Orioles lost the finale of their three-game series with the Red Sox Wednesday afternoon, but many with the Baltimore franchise were thinking about a certain player and not the 6-5 defeat.

Brian Roberts was scheduled to begin his rehab assignment about 40 minutes down the road with Double-A Bowie Wednesday night. Roberts has been out for just over a year due to problems from a concussion he suffered last May.

The Orioles and their fans have been waiting and wondering if Roberts ever would make it back. He last stepped on a field May 16, 2011, and the second baseman admitted in a Tuesday press conference at Oriole Park that there were times he wasn't so sure either.

Roberts was probably the most popular player with the franchise for a while. The lead-off hitter and former All-Star, he's a second baseman that plays the game hard and quickly became a fan favorite.

But the question now is how he can do in the rehab and what happens next. Roberts gets 20 days in rehab and he said Tuesday he'll probably use all of them.

Robert Andino has made himself a solid second baseman, but the return of Roberts will likely bump him over to being some kind of utility player in the lineup on a regular basis.

The big questions are if Roberts can make it all the way back and what kind of player he becomes. Answers to those questions will start happening during the rehab assignment.

NOTES, QUOTES

Jones runs hitting streak to 15 games</Headline>

--CF Adam Jones extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a single in the third inning off Red Sox starter Daniel Bard. That's the longest streak for an Oriole so far this season.

--1B Nick Johnson continued his hot hitting by belting a pair of home runs in the loss. Johnson is hitting .364 (8-for-22) in his last 10 games after a very slow start. But he struck out to end an eighth-inning threat as the Orioles tried to rally.

--LF Xavier Avery continued to make a good impression in his first days with the Orioles. He went 2-for-5 to improve his average to .273 -- and also got his first assist, throwing to SS Robert Andino, who threw out Kevin Youkilis at the plate.

--RHP Jake Arrieta continued his inconsistent work. He struck out nine and gave up just one run in his last start (against the Nationals) but allowed four runs on eight hits in 5 2/3 innings in Thursday's 6-5 loss to Boston, falling to 2-5 on the season.

--3B Wilson Betemit drove in the team's final run on sacrifice fly in the eighth. But it could have been more. Red Sox RF Che-Hsuan Lin made a diving catch of the short fly ball that would have tied the game if it landed since CF Adam Jones was on second.

BY THE NUMBERS: 0 -- Hits the Orioles got with runners in scoring position in Wednesday's 6-5 loss to the Red Sox. They went 0-for-8 in those situations and left five on base.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I don't think he had an out from the wind-up for four innings. They were all outs from the stretch. I wouldn't say it was a struggle, but it was a challenge for him." -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter talking about RHP Jake Arrieta's start. Arrieta struggled with his command and made it into the sixth but took the loss.

ROSTER REPORT

MEDICAL WATCH:

--2B Brian Roberts (concussion) went on the 15-day disabled list March 26. He has been taking batting practice and participating in infield drills in mid-May. He began a rehab assignment with Class AA Bowie on May 23 and drew walks in both plate appearances. He came out of the game after playing three innings in the field.

--LHP Zach Britton (left shoulder impingement) went on the 15-day disabled list March 26. He threw off a mound for the first time April 23. He threw a bullpen session April 30. He made his third extended spring training start May 21 and will throw another on May 23.

--LF Nolan Reimold (bulging disk in back) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 1. He had an epidural injection May 11. He's been dealing with persistent back and neck issues. He said May 15 he was likely headed toward a second epidural injection. He is likely to have it May 25.

--RHP Matt Lindstrom (torn ligament in right middle finger) went on the 15-day disabled list May 11. He said May 15 he may be able to return from the disabled list when he is eligible.

--OF Endy Chavez (strained left intercostal muscle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 9.

--3B Mark Reynolds (strained left oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 11.

--LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (torn left elbow ligament) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 28, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 7. He had season-ending Tommy John surgery May 11.

--C Taylor Teagarden (back strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 9. There is no timetable for his return.

ROTATION:

RHP Jake Arrieta

LHP Wei-Yin Chen

RHP Jason Hammel

LHP Brian Matusz

RHP Tommy Hunter

LHP Dana Eveland

BULLPEN:

RHP Jim Johnson (closer)

RHP Kevin Gregg

RHP Luis Ayala

RHP Pedro Strop

LHP Troy Patton

RHP Darren O'Day

CATCHERS:

Matt Wieters

Luis Exposito

INFIELDERS:

1B Chris Davis

2B Robert Andino

SS J.J. Hardy

3B Ryan Flaherty

DH Nick Johnson

INF Bill Hall

INF Steve Tolleson

OUTFIELDERS:

LF Xavier Avery

CF Adam Jones

RF Nick Markakis

OF/INF Wilson Betemit

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