The Orioles should be getting two of their key players back from the disabled list soon. Cesar Izturis is expected to be activated this Friday for the weekend series against the Blue Jays. Dennis Sarfate is heading out on a nine to ten game rehab assignment beginning this weekend.
Getting Izturis back is huge for the Orioles as he is the staple of the O's defense up the middle. He also adds speed to the lineup, and as Dave Trembley mentioned, leadership in the clubhouse.
It's clear many of the younger players, particularly the Latin players, look up to Izturis and value his knowledge of the game. He's low key, but very popular in the O's clubhouse. Having him around only benefits the team.
That being said, you have to tip your hat to Robert Andino for the fine job he's done fillling in for Izturis since June 7th. Andino has turned twenty six double plays in that time span, and has been quite enteraining with a number of web gems. Today Trembley said he has earned playing time once Cesar returns. We could see Andino spell Brian Roberts at second in addition to Izturis at shortstop.
The big question is: what will the corresponding roster move be once Izturis is activated? Both Felix Pie and Oscar Salazar are out of options, so they would have to clear waivers before being optioned to triple A. We could see a trade, or one of the young players like Berken or Hernandez sent down temporarily to buy more time during the all star break. It's going to be interesting.
Sarfate is expected to return sometime after the all star break. He will begin a rehab assignment this weekend in the minor leagues. The power righty will bounce around between Frederick, Bowie and Norfolk depending on home schedules. He has spent over two months on the disabled list with a circulatory issue stemming from his clavicle/shoulder surgery this past offseason.