Notes on Britton, Hammel and the lineup

Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed this morning that left-hander Zach Britton will make his first injury-rehab start Saturday at Double-A Bowie. Britton will stay with the Baysox and pitch again May 31 at Akron.

The Orioles could choose to keep Britton on his rehab assignment or activate him from the disabled list. That decision is pending. Let's see how he gets through those starts.

Jason Hammel remains confident that he'll make Friday night's start against the Royals at Camden Yards - where he'll oppose former Oriole Bruce Chen - despite having his right knee drained two days ago.

Hammel never had undergone this procedure, but it's one way to treat the knee and keep him in the rotation.

"It definitely feels better," Hammel said.

Hammel has been performing a series of exercises to build up strength in his legs. Fatigue has been a factor in his last two starts, when he's failed to clear six innings.

Hammel said he will keep pitching instead of skipping starts to nurse the knee.

"I know I can help the team throwing with this thing," he said. "I'll just grind it out."

Team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens examined reliever Matt Lindstrom's right middle finger yesterday. Lindstrom will head to Sarasota as soon as he's able to throw. Showalter said it could happen when the Orioles begin their road trip Monday.

J.J. Hardy is out of the lineup mostly because Showalter wanted to rest him. Hardy's right shoulder has been "barky," according to Showalter, but he's able to play.

Showalter likes to rest players the day before there's an open date on the schedule, which provides extended rest. He's doing the same thing with catcher Matt Wieters.


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