Showalter discusses JJ, Hernandez, Lugo and more

Manager Buck Showalter may accompany director of player development John Stockstill to Bowie tonight to watch Jim Johnson pitch.

Johnson could be activated after throwing Tuesday and Wednesday for the Baysox, or the Orioles could wait until Sept. 1. A decision is pending.

Johnson is on the 60-day disabled list, so room must be created for him on the 40-man roster.

David Hernandez is expected to start playing catch on Sept. 1. There’s still a chance that he’ll be shut down for the rest of the season. It depends how the ankle responds, since there’s always the risk that it’ll swell up again.

“Hopefully, we can get David back,” Showalter said.

Hernandez could be added to one of the affiliates’ playoff rosters if he’s ready to pitch. Single-A Frederick is in, but Bowie’s on the cusp.

“We could always create something down in Sarasota,” Showalter said, “but you’d love to see it in a game for his peace of mind.”

Julio Lugo’s back at shortstop today. Will he get another start in left field?

“I wouldn’t look for it a lot,” Showalter replied. “It may happen again, but it’s not going to be something we do a lot. Yesterday was a lot about the matchup and making sure we got as many right-handers in there as we could.”

Showalter talked to Lugo about the benefits of playing more positions and “enhancing his value as his career goes forward.”

“I think he knows where he is in his career, and whether it’s here or somewhere else - and it might be in the National League - it certainly makes him more valuable.”

Showalter once had a similar discussion with Mark DeRosa.

“I said, ‘Did you ever play any outfield? I want to get you out there.’ He said, ‘Does it get me in the lineup?’ I said, ‘Yeah,’ and he said, ‘Yes I can.’”

Showalter wanted to make sure he wasn’t going to embarrass Lugo, which is one reason he approached the veteran infielder.

“I think if we ran him out there a little bit more, he’d get better and better. He’s a pretty athletic guy,” Showalter said.

The club appears set to recall pitcher Chris Tillman from Triple-A Norfolk when rosters expand next month. It’s not a certainty, but the odds are extremely good. He’s already on the 40-man roster, so that eliminates one complication.

Check Steve Melewski’s blog on for Showalter’s comments on left-hander Zach Britton, who’s also a candidate to join the Orioles.

Look for Corey Patterson in tomorrow’s lineup. Don’t know where, but he’s starting.

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