Tsuyoshi Wada’s next injury-rehab start at Triple-A Norfolk is Tuesday against the Durham Bulls.
Wada allowed four runs (three earned) in four innings yesterday in his first start. He surrendered two home runs and left the game after 78 pitches.
Asked what he was looking for from Wada, manager Buck Showalter replied, “Health.”
“I wasn’t going to base it too much performance-wise,” Showalter said. “You know Ron (Johnson) gave me his thoughts on it. Probably the third start, there’s kind of, ‘What do we have going on there?’ We know he’s not eligible before the 30th. We’ll see how he recovers today. I want to see how he feels.”
Wada is throwing all of his pitches.
“Some of them went places they shouldn’t have gone, coming and going,” Showalter said. “I think his command was pretty good. He was free and easy. There wasn’t any restrictive...
“Regardless of your background, it’s a huge jump in your level of play, but like R.J. said, he thinks it will get better, and it will have to get better. It was his first outing.”
Steve Johnson starts tonight for Norfolk, Jake Arrieta on Saturday and Zach Britton on Sunday.
Showalter indicated that Miguel Gonzalez is likely to start Tuesday night against the New York Yankees at Camden Yards.
“He’s an option for Monday or Tuesday. Probably a little bit more toward Tuesday to point you in the right direction,” Showalter said.
The blister didn’t cause any problems for Gonzalez during his simulated game.
“I just looked at it before I came down here,” Showalter said. “He’s in the weight room. You look at his face as much as his finger. He feels good about it. I don’t expect something else to crop up, but he did it today without the bandage on. He’s got it on now. So far, so good.”
“If the command is there, he’ll give us a chance to win,” Showalter said. “It’s been a long journey for him. I’m sure tomorrow... I don’t know if anxiety’s the word. He’s done this before. I know a lot of people miss, I know I did originally, how young he is. This guy’s not like 31, trying to make a comeback. He’s 26, 27 years old. We’ll see. I’m anxious to see.
“I talked to R.J. Johnson coming in today about Wada, Jair, what we need to know and everything. He’s pretty positive for the most part.”
Jurrjens hasn’t been promised more than one start. The rest is up to him.
Britton, Johnson and Josh Stinson were one-and-done.
“That was for some other reasons, because of the bullpen,” Showalter said. “It wasn’t purely the way they pitched. We had to have arms the next day because of the way they pitched.
“We’ll see what tomorrow brings. We’ll see where we are as a club, if we need some help in the bullpen. Obviously, have to make room for him tomorrow. You send a bullpen guy out, and you see how many games in a row we’re playing. We’re not going to put our bullpen in harm’s way.”
Jurrjens will be the 10th starter used by the Orioles this season.
Showalter said tonight’s game could dictate whether the Orioles send down a reliever or bench player.
“We’ve got two, three ways we can go,” he said.
Showalter enjoys the luxury of a five-man bench, but it won’t factor into his decision.
“None,” he said. “It’s just a luxury because of where we are with the DL and off days. It’s kind of nice to have two-plus runners on the bench.”
Yamaico Navarro, a candidate to be optioned again, gets the start tonight at second base. Alexi Casilla and Ryan Flaherty are a combined 0-for-18 against Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson. Navarro is 0-for-1.
“It was time to look at him,” Showalter said. “R.J. says he was really playing well down there. I think I want to look at him more defensively, regardless of where we play him. I think he’s got a chance to do some things offensively. It’s at another level. The only way you find out is to run him out there.
“I’m trying not to have Chris Dickerson sit too long, keep him connected. It’s a good time with that off-day and everything.”
If the Orioles want a longer look at Navarro, it could cost Flaherty a spot on the 25-man roster. He could be optioned on Saturday.
Shortstop J.J. Hardy has hit in 11 straight games, batting .333 (14-for-42) with four home runs, eight RBIs and six runs scored.
Notes: Backup catcher Taylor Teagarden had the splint removed from his dislocated left thumb this afternoon in Sarasota. He was examined by a hand specialist.
Also, infielder Wilson Betemit began jogging in the pool at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Betemit is on the disabled list with a Grade 2/3 PCL tear in his right knee.