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Roberts begins increasing baseball activity

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WASHINGTON -- Manager Buck Showalter updated the status of several injured players before Tuesday's game against the Nationals.

Backup catcher Taylor Teagarden caught five innings yesterday in extended spring action in Sarasota, Fla. He will be the designated hitter tonight and catch seven innings tomorrow, Showalter said.

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"After that, he may go to one of our Minor League clubs, so he's coming along well, so that's encouraging."

Top position player prospect Jonathan Schoop will seek a second opinion on his back in California.

Showalter didn't have much to update on starter Wei-Yin Chen and his strained right oblique. The manager said he's provided occasional updates on Chen's pain level and that he's making progress, "little by little." There are no plans for him to pick up a baseball in extended spring games just yet.

Second baseman Brian Roberts is still on the mend from rupturing a tendon behind his right knee, and won't return for a while, but the manager was encouraged with reports Tuesday.

"Brian did some tee work, increasing his baseball activity," Showalter said. He added that Roberts' return is a matter of "when not if."

Third baseman Wilson Betemit started throwing in Sarasota.

"Hope we're getting four or five guys back at some point soon," Showalter said.

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. Derek Wetmore is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DerekatDotCom. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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