08/03/12 7:49 PM ET
Injured Wada visits O's in St. Petersburg
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
"He's got a locker," Showalter said of Wada, who had a jersey with No. 18 hanging in the visiting clubhouse at Tropicana Field. "And somehow it got to me that he wanted to sit on the bench tonight. He's never been on the bench for a Major League game. So I'm hoping he comes out. I told him it'd be fine."
The 31-year-old Wada, who visited the Orioles once before when they were in St. Petersburg, is rehabbing at the team's spring complex in nearby Sarasota. The left-hander, who signed a two-year, $8.15 million contract with the Orioles in the offseason after pitching in Japan, never made it out of Spring Training after reporting elbow discomfort following his first rehab outing.
"I'm sure there is some rule we will get our hands slapped about having a guy on the bench, because he's going to have such an impact on the game," Showalter said with a grin. "I hope he can do it. [I'm] going to wait and see who [Rays manger Joe Maddon] sends up. I might let Wada take the lineup out and let him go over the [catwalk] rings."
O's might platoon Andino and Betemit at third
ST. PETERSBURG -- Robert Andino made his first start on Friday since returning from the disabled list, with Orioles manager Buck Showalter penciling him in at third base against Rays left-hander Matt Moore.
It's a scenario that Andino -- who was the Orioles' Opening Day second baseman -- could find himself in again.
"Probably," Showalter said of having Andino platoon with Wilson Betemit, who struggles against left-handed pitching.
"What's happened is, because of some of the injuries we've had with other players, we've had to [use Betemit every day]. I'd like to give Robert some time [at third] here or there. [It] keeps everybody involved in playing. I'd like Robert to play today, and he will probably play Sunday [against lefty David Price].
Andino is hitting .234 against left-handed pitching entering Friday, while Betemit is hitting .146 against lefties and .307 against right-handers. With the acquisition of middle infielder Omar Quintanilla, Showalter has some flexibility in the infield and is able to play the splits. One position he hasn't rotated around has been designated hitter, with Chris Davis taking over DH duties since veteran Jim Thome landed on the disabled list.
"We are starting to get some of the people that allows us to move the pieces around," said Showalter, who believes Davis fits better at DH given that the team has four outfielders on the roster.
"Chris can still play in the outfield and first base, but this is a little better fit right now. [We] don't really have somebody that is in need of [DH'ing] right now. And this time of year, one day off or one day DH'ing, it's not exactly going to recharge your battery."
Catcher Matt Wieters will likely DH on Sunday.
Brian Roberts underwent hip surgery to repair a labral tear on Friday, and manager Buck Showalter said the team's training staff is waiting to hear how the procedure went.
Jim Thome (herniated disk) received an epidural in California on Friday.
Nate McLouth was not in Triple-A Norfolk's lineup for the second consecutive game on Friday. It is possible the Orioles will make a move after Friday's game, with an opt-out clause in McLouth's contract kicking in at midnight.
The A's acquired reliever Pat Neshek from Norfolk and added him to their big league roster. Neshek was acquired for "future considerations."
Showalter confirmed the Orioles rotation will stay on turn, with struggling starter Zach Britton slated for Tuesday's game against Seattle.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.