Not much news to report this afternoon from Camden Yards, but there are plenty of updates.
Steve Johnson will pitch four innings on Thursday at extended spring training, and Tsuyoshi Wada will pitch three. Wada most likely will need at least one more outing before the Orioles consider sending him on an injury rehab assignment, but Johnson is likely to begin one after Thursday.
Johnson could join any affiliate on a rehab assignment.
Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia could be assigned to Double-A Bowie as early as Thursday. The Orioles had considered Single-A Frederick, but he’s going to play for the Baysox, as they intended last summer while he was detained in Haiti.
Manager Buck Showalter noticed how Chris Davis reacted to a strikeout last night by breaking a bat over his knee. While impressed by the strength required to do it, Showalter said it’s “risky” because of the potential injury factor.
“He’s not the first or the last,” Showalter said. “There are a couple guys I don’t worry about doing it.”
Showalter was asked about reliever Pedro Strop, who served up two home runs in the eighth inning last night.
“This guy had a really, really good year for us last year, with a little bump,” Showalter said. “What I liked was the way he came back and was a contributor again. He got some big outs in the playoffs and leading up to the last week. I like him.
“It’s hard to do what Pete’s doing. He’s been doing it now for two or three years. He’s still a young man who hasn’t pitched much. This guy was a shortstop about three years ago. I’m glad he’s on our side. If we don’t like him, there will be a lot of people standing in line for him. I think he’s going to do some good things for us this year, and already has. He’s gotten some big outs already. Last night wasn’t one of them. But there’s a pretty long chain there because we only got five innings out of our starter. We had to get 12 outs before they scored five runs.”
Showalter wanted Strop to pitch last night after being off for three days.
“Troy (Patton) the same way, three days off,” Showalter said. “I was hoping to stay away from Darren (O’Day) and Brian (Matusz) if I could, but the game situation... They had two days off. I was hoping to continue to pass the load around and keep everybody healthy and keep everybody as a contributor.
“We wanted to make sure we went into the game tonight with (T.J.) McFarland and Tommy (Hunter) available for some length if we need it.”
The Orioles had some interest in Rangers outfielder Julio Borbon, but they pretty much knew by the weekend that they weren’t going to trade for him. They didn’t want to part with the minor leaguers who interested the Rangers and he wasn’t viewed as an upgrade over someone like Chris Dickerson, also a left-handed hitting outfielder.
The Orioles figured that Borbon would end up on waivers, which he did today.
And while we’re talking about Dickerson, he has changed his number from 60 to 36.
The Dodgers may adjust their rotation for the three-game series at Camden Yards. Left-hander Hyun Jin-Ryu is listed as Friday night’s starter, but he could switch places with Josh Beckett, who’s currently listed as Saturday’s starter.
Steve Pearce is expected to be in Thursday’s lineup against Rays left-hander David Price, with Nolan Reimold starting in left field. Nate McLouth is in left tonight against Rays southpaw Matt Moore because Showalter didn’t want him sitting out three straight games. Also, lefties actually hit for a higher average against Moore than right-handers.
Matt Wieters is 5-for-8 with two homers lifetime against Moore. Adam Jones is 4-for-10.
Evan Longoria is 6-for-12 with three homers against Chris Tillman.
The Orioles are averaging 6.3 runs in four games against the Rays this year. They averaged 3.1 against them in 18 games last season.