Wada is seeking a second opinion, and he’s conceded that he might need to undergo ligament-reconstructive surgery.
The Orioles still haven’t set a target date for second baseman Brian Roberts to start playing games at extended spring training or go on an injury rehab assignment in the minors.
“He’s progressing well. Little by little he’s getting there,” manager Buck Showalter said.
“I think it bodes well for the potential. He’s doing a lot of things he wasn’t doing and it’s going to kind of be up to him. We’re dealing with something that none of us are experts on. He has a lot more good days than bad. That’s different.
“I don’t walk up to him and say, ‘How are you feeling today? How are you feeling today compared to yesterday?’ He doesn’t need that. He knows what the level is that he’s got to get to and the consistency. When he gets a number of days where he feels the same every time, then we’ll sit down and talk. It’s kind of ‘when’ more than ‘if’ for me.”
Showalter confirmed that Jim Johnson is available tonight. Johnson hasn’t pitched since April 22, but he was ready yesterday if Showalter needed him.
He most definitely wanted to pitch.
“He wasn’t too happy with Bucky yesterday,” Showalter said. “He’s ready to go. I saw him in there eating normal food.”
Zach Britton threw another bullpen session today. He’s expected to throw another one on Wednesday - unless the Orioles choose to have him throw live batting practice - and is nearing a simulated game.
“He felt good. He’s right on schedule,” Showalter said.
A victory tonight would be the 1,000th in Showalter’s managerial career. His first win came against Roger Clemens and the Red Sox, 4-3 on April 7, 1992 at Yankee Stadium.
Showalter said his kids have kept track of his win total.
“They made me aware of it not too long ago,” he said.
Asked if it would be special to register the milestone in the Bronx, Showalter replied, “No, I don’t look at it that way. It just reminds you what an honor it is to be in the big leagues and have a chance to do it for a while, and be around so many good players and general managers and owners. Good organizations.
“Not a day goes by that I don’t wake up and realize what an honor it is to be in the big leagues. It’s a challenge every day, but I think most of it is just longevity.”
Chris Tillman was scratched from today’s start at Triple-A Norfolk, but I haven’t received an explanation. I’m told it isn’t health related and he isn’t being traded.
Miguel Gonzalez started in Tillman’s place and allowed one hit over four scoreless innings, with no walks and four strikeouts, in Norfolk’s 6-5, 12-inning victory over Louisville. His ERA is down to 0.66.
Bill Hall collected three hits and scored the winning run on a wild pitch - the fifth of the game by Louisville pitchers, who also issued 13 walks. Pat Neshek blew his second save.
Dana Eveland (2-1, 2.66) is scheduled to start for Norfolk tomorrow against former Orioles right-hander Daniel Cabrera, who will be making his first start of the season.