Buck Showalter made it official today in his pre-game meeting with reporters – well, he made it almost official today.
Zach Britton, as expected, will make his 2013 debut as the club's starter Monday at Safeco Field against the Seattle Mariners and Britton's old Orioles teammate, Joe Saunders.
However, that still could change if the Orioles play a long, extra innings game today in Oakland and need Britton in an emergency. In that case, they would have to scramble for a starter Monday.
Britton was 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA in three starts with Triple-A Norfolk. In his career he is 0-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two starts against the Mariners – both at Camden Yards.
"He is back in step. He pitched well down there," Showalter said of Britton. "Had two really good outings, he's healthy. He's doing what he's supposed to do."
Catcher Taylor Teagarden (dislocated left thumb) left the team today to fly back to Baltimore. He'll travel to Sarasota and meet with hand specialist Dr. Brian Schofield on Monday or Tuesday. The Orioles will then know a more exact timetable for Teagarden's return. It's tentatively been called a three to four week recovery period.
Luis Exposito and some of his Norfolk teammates were watching the Oiroles game Saturday when they saw Taylor Teagarden get hurt. Exposito, who is on the 40-man roster, assumed he might get the call.
He left Norfolk at midnight to drive to Baltimore, where he took a 6 a.m. flight so he could arrive in Oakland for this afternoon's game. He was up all night – not sleeping until he got on the plane.
"There was nowhere to sleep in the airport, so in the plane (I slept)," he said. "It obviously is not the best way to be here. Myself, I don't want Teagarden to get hurt. He is a good guy, good teammate. But I am here now."
Exposito, 26, batted .218 with 6 RBIs in 16 games for the Tides. He threw out just one of 16 runners attempting to steal.
Second baseman Brian Roberts (hamstring) will begin "light baseball activities" on Monday. Showalter said he wasn't sure exactly what those activities would be, but it's another step in Roberts' recovery. He has not played since the third game of the season. There is no set timetable for his return.
Lefty Tsuyoshi Wada (left elbow) is pitching five innings Monday in an extended spring training game in Florida. He is coming off Tommy John surgery last May.
Right-hander Oliver Drake (shoulder) will make his first start in extended spring Tuesday. The Naval Academy product missed most of last year in the minors due to injury.