Catcher Taylor Teagarden remains on the disabled list with lower-back issues, and it doesn’t appear that he’s close to joining the active roster.
“Better than it was, but still not real fast progress,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Chris Correnti, the Orioles’ performance consultant who’s responsible for overseeing the rehabilitation of injured players, told Showalter that Zach Britton is “real excited about finally getting the ball back in his hand.” Britton will play catch on Thursday.
When can the Orioles expect Britton to pitch for them?
“Let’s see how the next two or three times go with a ball in his hand,” Showalter said. “He’s got to jump through some hoops to get there. I’m hoping by the first part of May we’re getting some definitive idea about when. I think the next couple weeks will be key. Provided this is where he goes when he’s ready.”
There aren’t many guys in the bullpen with defined roles beyond Jim Johnson, who’s the closer.
Showalter is pleased with the 3-0 start, but he knows the Orioles also were fast out of the gate in 2011 and finished in last place.
“We’re hoping something happens this year that doesn’t make it Groundhog Day,” he said.
“I like where our guys are mentally and emotionally, but we’ll see. The competition is always there. We feel good about the work they’ve put in to get to this point. Once again, it’s about putting yourself in position to have success if you’re capable of it, and I think guys have really bought into some things that are required of you in order to be an impact pitcher in the major leagues for a team that’s trying to compete. That’s a lot easier said than done.”