MacPhail: "This was about as good as one could hope"

WASHINGTON - The Orioles are looking favorably on the MRI result on Jeremy Guthrie's upper back. He's been diagnosed with a mild strain and remains as the listed starter Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.

"This was about as good as one could hope," said president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail. "It's good news. He's still in line potentially, no sure thing, to make his next start. We'll just see how he responds the next two days."

The Orioles could have officially recalled left-hander Pedro Viola and added an extra arm to their bullpen, but he's rejoined the Double-A Bowie Baysox. He arrived today as insurance in case Guthrie went on the disabled list.

Asked if he's concerned about the bullpen, MacPhail said, "I think length is something that's going to be an asset for us, something we've been looking to do. It was a bad break for us when Alfredo (Simon) went down because he was doing a good job in that role, so we probably need to find someone to sort of take his place. And it was great to see Jason Berken come back and throw like he did last year. Those are two guys we think can potentially do a pretty good job in that role. We just need to get Jason back to where he was a year ago and get Alfredo healthy."

MacPhail also said the Orioles don't have a long-term replacement for bullpen coach Rick Adair, who was named pitching coach following Mark Connor's resignation. Terry Crowley will continue in that role through the end of the road trip.

"We'll just take that as it goes," MacPhail said. "We might have some different people who come in and come out. We're going to try to be as minimally disruptive to our player development system as we can be.

"It's unlikely that a guy would come from the minor leagues and stay here for three months if we think that's going to adversely affect the development of some of our kids."

No updates on Justin Duchscherer, who didn't make it through the first inning of yesterday's extended spring training start. MacPhail hasn't heard whether Duchscherer's hip is feeling better today.

For the Nationals:
Werth RF
Desmond SS
Zimmerman 3B
Morse 1B
Espinosa 2B
Ramos C
Hairston LF
Marquis RHP
Bernadina CF

Yes, the pitcher is batting eighth.

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