Orioles charting Lee's progress

Orioles charting Lee's progress

Orioles charting Lee's progress
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles first baseman Derrek Lee went 0-for-2 as an in-game replacement at designated hitter in Tuesday's 6-2 win over the Yankees, and manager Buck Showalter said afterward that the club would wait to decide Lee's next move.

"We will make the decision about 2 o'clock [on Wednesday] -- might be earlier than that, [about] whether he goes," Showalter said of Lee's availability for the Orioles' 7 p.m. ET game against the Twins in Fort Myers, Fla. "We wouldn't take him unless he's going to play first base. I'd do what we did here at home [in-game], but I'm not going to do it over there in the night game."

Lee, who had previously been sidelined with right wrist/thumb injuries, fouled a ball off his left foot in his first spring at-bat on Saturday. He underwent X-rays that night and had an MRI exam on Sunday morning, and he was cleared to play in Tuesday's game after testing his foot in the morning.

Lee got his first at-bat -- replacing Vladimir Guerrero -- two outs into the fifth inning, and he grounded out to shortstop, clearly laboring down the basepaths.

"We told him to do that," Showalter said of Lee running about half-speed. "[He's a] pretty impressive guy, with his background. He knows how important these at-bats are. I talked to him and Vladdy -- guys [like that] might [typically believe] it's a little beneath them to get at-bats at the end [of the game], but it's part of the process. He wants them."

In his second at-bat, Lee flied out to shallow center field in the eighth inning. He's 0-for-4 with a walk through two Grapefruit League games, but the Orioles remain cautiously optimistic that Lee will be ready to go for Opening Day on April 1.

Second baseman Brian Roberts, who went 2-for-4 with a run scored, will not play in Wednesday's game, according to Showalter. On Tuesday, Roberts -- who has been sidelined by back spasms -- played in his first game since March 7 on Sunday in Port Charlotte, Fla. He is hitting .278 this spring.