Teagarden knows he's "running out of days" to make opening day roster

SARASOTA, Fla. - Catcher Taylor Teagarden still hasn't been cleared to start baseball-related activities after receiving an epidural on March 14 to alleviate the pain in his lower back.

Teagarden said he hasn't been given a timetable.

"Everything depends on how I respond," he said. "The doctor told me it could be two weeks longer or it could be two weeks shorter. It all depends on how I'm responding.

"There's no need to rush anything when you're dealing with a back injury. We're taking it pretty cautiously."

A CT scan on Teagarden's back revealed a slightly torn ligament that supports a disk. The epidural has provided "a lot of relief the first couple days," he said.

"The biggest goal is to just keep that, whatever level of pain it is, keep it there and try not to aggravate anything," he said. "It's kind of a slow process. Just strengthening the back every day and increasing my level of activity very slowly. I'm trying to get my core really strong and jump back into things."

Ronny Paulino has emerged as the favorite to back up Matt Wieters despite reporting late to camp because of visa issues. Teagarden was acquired from the Rangers over the winter to fill that role, but he conceded today that the odds are against him.

"It sure doesn't seem like it could happen, but I don't know," he said. "I'd have to play some games and get some at-bats. I'm just running out of days. I don't know. There's a chance, but it's hard to say right now."

The news is better on pitcher Alfredo Simon, who left Sunday night's start against the Yankees with tightness in his groin. Simon could throw a bullpen session in the next day or two.

As for roster cuts, manager Buck Showalter met with his coaches and executive vice president Dan Duquette after yesterday's game. Perhaps we'll know the names later today.

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