Quick word on Matusz and Hardy (updated)

Orioles pitcher Brian Matusz, on the disabled list with a strained left intercostal muscle, will follow up Sunday's bullpen session by throwing 30 pitches on the side tomorrow and 20 more against hitters at Twins Lakes Park in Sarasota.

Matusz is still scheduled to pitch in an extended spring training game on Saturday before beginning his injury rehab assignment in the minors. The Orioles want him to make at least three starts before activating him.

It's hard to believe we haven't seen him pitch since spring training.

Also, shortstop J.J. Hardy (strained left oblique) could begin his injury rehab assignment on Friday.

Two of the Orioles' affiliates are home - Triple-A Norfolk plays Indianapolis and Single-A Frederick plays Wilmington - so the club must decide where he'll take his first real swings. I'm not counting the live batting practice in Sarasota.

Down on the farm, Steve Johnson is shutting out Harrisburg on three hits over four innings, with one walk and six strikeouts, to lower his ERA to 0.64. He gave up one run on one hit - yes, it was a home run - over six innings in his previous start.

Update: Johnson held Harrisburg to five hits over six scoreless innings, with one walk and seven strikeouts. In three starts for Bowie, he's allowed one run and seven hits over 16 innings, with six walks and 18 strikeouts.

Single-A Frederick's Oliver Drake is shutting out Wilmington on two hits over seven innings, with no walks and seven strikeouts. LJ Hoes has driven in both runs for the Keys, and Tyler Townsend is 3-for-3 with two doubles to raise his average to .345.

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