Tillman, Wieters to start Saturday vs. Puerto Rican team

Tillman, Wieters to start Saturday vs. Puerto Rican team

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman will start Saturday's game against the Puerto Rican development program team on the back fields at Ed Smith Stadium. Matt Wieters, as scheduled earlier, will catch the game, and manager Buck Showalter said it's not a ploy to have Tillman avoid the O's scheduled spring opponent, the Rays.

"[Pitching coach Dave Wallace] Wally liked to be able to control the environment a little bit," Showalter said of the game, which will start at 2 p.m. ET. "I'm kind of over that keeping him away from people. There's no secrets here. Tillman has pitched how many games against [Tampa Bay]? Sometimes he might pick up something from them. Chances are, he's not going to see a lot of guys in that [regular] lineup anyway."

Tillman on preparing for season

Wieters is slated to catch five to seven innings, though that's subject to change based off feel. He will also catch on Sunday in the "B" game.

Worth noting: The Orioles optioned knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa to Triple-A Norfolk after Tuesday's game. With this move, the Orioles now have 51 players at Major League Spring Training, including 12 non-roster invitees.

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