Arrieta may be used in relief for now
Pitching prospect's future with Orioles is as starter
BALTIMORE -- Interim manager Juan Samuel said the Orioles are open to using pitching prospect Jake Arrieta in the bullpen if need be in the coming days.
Arrieta was a late scratch from his starting role with Triple-A Norfolk on Saturday night. Samuel said Saturday that the O's wanted to be ready to help a worn-out bullpen -- and starter Jeremy Guthrie later mentioned he's battled some soreness -- but Arrieta came on in relief for the first time at Norfolk later in the game.
Arrieta has a 6-2 record with a 1.85 ERA in 12 games for Norfolk.
"We're going to deal with that as we get into next week," Samuel said. "[We'll] see how Guthrie is feeling, if he needs an extra day, then we will reconsider and look at our options. Definitely that was one option for us there, if Guthrie couldn't go as long as we wanted him."
There's no question that Arrieta's role will be as a starter in Baltimore, but since the club is facing some tough times, it's doing whatever it can.
"We need to use all our options, keep them open and go forward," Samuel said.
Samuel shuffles Orioles' lineup in finale
BALTIMORE -- Orioles interim manager Juan Samuel juggled his lineup a bit for Sunday's series finale against the Red Sox. The team is mired in a 10-game losing streak, and Samuel is searching for anything that could give his team a spark.
"Just trying different things, giving guys a break here and there," Samuel said. "Hopefully they will freshen up, and we'll see these guys digging themselves out of what we've gotten into."
Samuel put third baseman Miguel Tejada in the designated hitter role. He said he wanted to get Tejada off the field and let him rest a little.
The interim manager also gave catcher Craig Tatum the start in place of Matt Wieters and penciled in Scott Moore for his first start of the season at third base.
Moore can play any of the four infield positions and has started at second base four times. He hit a two-run single in the ninth inning of Saturday's 8-2 loss to break Baltimore's 20-inning scoreless streak.
"He's a very good third baseman that also gives us an added left-handed bat in there against the sinkerballer [John Lackey] we're facing today," Samuel said. "We know Scotty can play some first base, second base; he was drafted by the Tigers when I was [coaching] there as a shortstop. We need all the help we can get."
Tejada moved into No. 2 spot in order
BALTIMORE -- In an effort to find the best permanent lineup for his club, interim manager Juan Samuel has slotted third baseman Miguel Tejada in the No. 2 spot during the series against Boston.
Under former manager Dave Trembley, Tejada hit in that spot in just four games, compared to 42 contests batting fourth. But three of those four games came in Trembley's last three games as the O's manager.
Samuel said the switch was based on Tejada's success as a two-hitter with Houston in 2009.
"We're hoping that once he gets comfortable again hitting [second], we will see some of what he provided last year for the Astros," the interim skipper said.
Tejada batted second in 69 games for Houston last year, hitting at a clip of .367 with an OPS of .922. He never hit in the four spot for the Astros, but was slotted third 29 times and fifth 53 times, with significantly lower batting averages (.280 and .254, respectively) in those positions.
For his career, Tejada's numbers in the two and four spots are similar. He's batted .312 and .314, respectively, in those slots, but has just 870 plate appearances hitting second compared to 1,981 hitting fourth. He has been used mostly in the third spot in his career, with 2,731 appearances.
The O's have used an American League-leading 51 batting orders in 2010. Samuel's move is part of his effort to find the best lineup and stick with it. If Tejada doesn't adjust well to hitting second again, then Samuel will try something else with the slugger.
"Obviously if he's not comfortable there, we are open to moving guys around the lineup to make things happen, so that's one that we will consider," Samuel said.
When ready, Simon will resume closer role
BALTIMORE -- Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon is progressing normally in his recovery from a strained hamstring and will resume his role as closer when he is fully ready, interim manager Juan Samuel said Sunday.
"He's doing everything, he's progressing," Samuel said. "That's very encouraging there. We just have to see what's going to happen the next couple of days."
Simon is eligible to come of the 15-day disabled list on June 9, but Samuel could not say whether he would return that day. Once he does return, though, he will go right back to his ninth-inning duties.
""That's where he's going to be," Samuel said. "Then you're going to have [Will] Ohman in his old role."
Ohman has been the de facto closer in Simon's absence, but has not had any save opportunities. Samuel expects a healthy Simon to stabilize his bullpen, allowing Ohman to resume his duties as a lefty specialist and setup man and other relief pitchers to return to their normal roles.
"Guys will be pitching in the roles they're comfortable with," Samuel said. "You will have the most set scenario out of the 'pen, which always helps. We're looking forward to Simon, when he gets up here, to stabilize that situation."
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. Noah Rosenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.