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March 2, 2011

Lee potentially could play this weekend, Duchscherer passes another test, more Bell at first

Orioles manager Buck Showalter just met the media before the Orioles' game with the Philadelphia Phillies, and he said Derrek Lee could potentially make his 2011 Grapefruit League debut this weekend. Lee, who had his right thumb surgically repaired in November, took batting practice for a fourth straight day today. Showalter said that he wasn't sure how it went, but he did acknowledge that Lee is getting closer.

Justin Duchscherer threw from flat ground today, and Showalter said that that the session went well. Duchscherer could throw from off the mound in another couple of days.

It got kind of lost Tuesday because of all the attention surrounding the opening of new Ed Smith Stadium and the home run barrage that followed, but Josh Bell got in the game at first base. Bell, normally a third baseman, has been working with bench and infield coach Willie Randolph at the position during workouts. Showalter said that he could "potentially" get him in at first more during the games.

Nonroster invitee Mitch Atkins threw from flat ground today. He has been sidelined for much of camp because of an oblique injury.

Brad Bergesen and Ryan Drese threw side sessions today back at Ed Smith.

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Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 12:02 PM | | Comments (1)



If Duchscherer can't get some live game activity, say in another week to 10 days, then there wouldn't be much chance of him making the Openning Day starting rotation. The horses are out of the gate(so to speak). Could he be switched to a reliever's role? Maybe a role like Hendrickson filled last year?

Jeff Z's reply: I guess that's a possibility, but I haven't heard any discussions about that. They are still focused on getting him ready to start.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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