SAROSOTA, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter had his usual pregame session with the media today while his team took batting practice. Here are a few highlights:
On Taylor Teagarden seeing a back specialist:
"An MRI would show something with everybody unless you take it before 15 years old or something. But there are some things we want him to take a look at there and see what the next step is. So far, I'm not going to elaborate, but I think identifying what he's having some discomfort about. The improvement is coming, but it's not at a rate that gets you back on the field, so we're going to get his input and see if there's something we can do to speed up the process."
On whether surgery is being discussed:
"No, I haven't heard that mentioned at all. Don't say that word."
On Darren O'Day, who's been sidelined with a sore groin muscle:
"He's doing pretty good. We may have gotten that before it was something serious, so that's good to hear."
On Jason Berken (hamstring):
"Berken's getting real close. We thought he had a setback, but he's actually felt real good the last two days."
On whether he's encouraged that Brian Roberts took BP with teammates on the main field:
"It's good to see him with the team. I know it means a lot to him. He's been doing it on the back fields and stuff, but it has been a progression. I'm not going to say it means anything, but it's another step for him. You can see his face. You can imagine how excited he is to be out here in this environment."
On Luis Ayala:
"In fairness to him, he's having some real allergy issues down here. I'm not real sure whether I should have even pitched him, but he wanted to pitch. Physically, he's fine, but his eyes are all swollen. They're trying to do some things with some shots and stuff. I guess the pollen down here is extra bad. He says he has it every spring, but never as bad as this."
Brad Bergesen and Troy Patton also will pitch today.
Jake Arrieta, Jim Johnson, Willie Eyre, Luis Ayala and Kevin Gregg are slated to pitch tomorrow against the Pirates in Sarasota. Brian Matusz will oppose American League Cy Young winner and MVP Justin Verlander on Thursday in Lakeland.