SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles optioned infielder Joe Mahoney to Triple-A Norfolk on Monday, trimming their spring roster to 45.
Mahoney, the organization's Minor League Player of the Year, hit .412 (7-for-17) in seven spring games. With Minors camp starting, the 24-year-old will be able to get regular playing time.
"He's done a lot to put himself on the map," manager Buck Showalter said.
"This guy really popped last year with his skill set. He's a slightly above-average runner, capable of playing left field and first base. I like that he wasn't intimidated by the level of play. He's right where he should be."
With a wealth of infielders in this year's camp, Mahoney could start the season at Double-A Bowie, where he ended last season. But, as Showalter pointed out, where Mahoney ends 2011 is up to him.
"I think he's primed to have that year that's similar to last year," Showalter said, "and maybe even better."
Mahoney started 2010 at High Class A Frederick, but played the last 52 games with Bowie, hitting .319 with nine homers and 29 RBIs.
Duchscherer slated for MRA exam on hip
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles starter Justin Duchscherer saw a chiropractor Monday afternoon because of soreness in his left hip, and was scheduled to have an MRA exam later today. The club hopes the MRA will offer further insight into what's plaguing Duchscherer.
An MRA is similar to an MRI, except it includes an angiography. Dye will be injected into Duchscherer's hip to give a closer look and reveal if there's any structural damage. Duchscherer was a scratch from Sunday's scheduled intrasquad game because of discomfort he felt in his hip during flat ground warmups. The right-hander has pitched just two innings this spring.
Given the increasing possibility that Duchscherer won't break camp with the team, manager Buck Showalter was asked how the Orioles would fill the open rotation spot.
"The only thing I look at as a field manager is we're looking at options internally and they're pretty good," Showalter said of a group that includes young arms Chris Tillman and Zach Britton, as well as Ryan Drese, who could be also in a long relief role. I'm OK with [those options].
"Whether [president of baseball operations Andy Macphail] and our scouts think there are better options out there, I'll leave it to them. We're all aware of who might be out there, but we're not at that point yet. But that's a constant thing that scouts and front office do. But my focus is on the people we have here."
Uehara feels good after bullpen session
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Koji Uehara threw a 25-pitch bullpen session on Monday and said afterwards that everything felt good physically.
"I was told to go easy," Uehara said through interpreter Jiwon Bang. "I didn't go 100 percent, but still, it went well.
"[There was] No discomfort."
Manager Buck Showalter said Uehara could see action in a game by the end of the week.
2010 Spring Training - Baltimore Orioles
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Spring Training Info
Uehara had a cortisone injection in his right elbow on March 4 and threw a flat ground session in the outfield on one of the back fields at Ed Smith Stadium's Complex on Thursday. He expects to sit down with Orioles coaches on Tuesday to determine the next step.
"I'm just preparing to get out there as soon as possible," said Uehara, who does not have an injury but was diagnosed with overuse earlier this spring.
The Orioles would likely prefer Uehara to take it slow this spring and save his bullets for the regular season. A candidate to be the team's closer, Uehara pitched to a 2.86 ERA in 2010, but has been on the disabled list twice in each of the past two seasons.
Lee slowly working his way back
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Derrek Lee hit off a tee on Monday, swinging a bat for the first time in about a week, and said he's trying to take a more patient approach to his rehab this time around.
"[I'm] just taking it slow," said Lee, who has been hampered by right wrist tendinitis brought on by aggressively trying to get his surgically repaired right thumb game ready.
"I got a little bit ahead of myself last time. I'm just taking it slow this time to make sure there's no setbacks."
Lee will do soft toss and hit off a tee again on Tuesday and hopes to progress enough to take live batting practice in the next day or two. He has been getting daily treatment and said there's "no question" his wrist feels better than before.
"I keep the big picture in mind, I want to be healthy for the season," said Lee, who remains confident he will be a full-go for Opening Day. "I've doing a better job of being patient this time."
Brian Roberts was scheduled to undergo an MRI on his back on Monday afternoon. Roberts will also visit a local back specialist on Tuesday. ... Manager Buck Showalter said it's possible the team takes three left-handed relievers on its Opening Day roster, given the club's right-handed heavy rotation. That would likely involve Michael Gonzalez, Clay Rapada and Mark Hendrickson.
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.