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MacPhail weighs in

President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail weighed in on a number of subjects in the Orioles dugout today, including Alfredo Simon, Justin Duchscherer and the rash of rib cage injuries in baseball.

Simon apparently will not start again in the minor leagues. The deadline for a roster decision is Sunday, and it seems all but certain that Simon will be activated and put in the Orioles bullpen.

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"I see him as a long guy,'' MacPhail said. "If he gets them out, he'll be a short guy. These things tend to sort themselves out."

The fact that Simon apparently will stand trial in the Dominican Republic for the shooting of his cousin hasn't changed his status. He must be activated or waived by Sunday. The Orioles have contended all along that until he is charged with a crime, they have no choice but to go forward as if he's available. Technically, his status has not changed.

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"He has to go through the jurisprudence,'' MacPhail said.

Duchscherer did not make his scheduled three-inning appearance in an extended spring game today, though the Orioles do not know exactly what caused him to back out of the appearance. MacPhail said the situation is "uncertain at this point."

There is no timetable for shutting down the Duchscherer experiment, since he already has been paid his $700,000 guarantee and is basically costing the club meal money. Whether they will ever be confident enough in him to put him on the roster at some point -- and pay him another $400,000 -- remains in serious question.

There has been plenty of speculation about the cause of the rash of torso strains -- whether intercostal or oblique -- and MacPhail isn't confident that he has the answer. He does, however, have an opinion.

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"I'm coming back around to the opinion that the smaller your weight room, the smaller your disabled list is going to be,'' he said.

Sun file photo

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