Teagarden nearing return, Reimold nearing rehab assignment

The Orioles could be on the verge of changing backup catchers.

Taylor Teagarden has left extended spring training in Sarasota and is headed to Triple-A Norfolk, where he's scheduled to catch nine innings on Friday and seven-to-nine on Saturday, and serve as the designated hitter on Sunday.

"Hopefully all those things happen," said manager Buck Showalter. "That's the plan, Stan."

Teagarden may rejoin the Orioles in Houston on Tuesday. Otherwise, his injury-rehab assignment will continue.

"We'll wait and see how those three days go, but it's time for him to get out of there," Showalter said.

Teagarden is on the disabled list with a dislocated left thumb. He appeared in four games with the Orioles, going 0-for-13 with five strikeouts.

The Orioles acquired catcher Chris Snyder from the Angels for minor league reliever Rob Delaney on April 28. Snyder has played in only five games, going 2-for-14 with an RBI, two walks and three strikeouts.

Outfielder Nolan Reimold, on the DL with a small tear in his right hamstring, could go on an injury-rehab assignment next week while the Orioles are on the road. They play three games in Houston and three in St. Petersburg following Monday's off-day.

"Nolan's about the same today," Showalter said.

"It's the kind of thing that's kind of like obliques and tennis elbow. Anybody that's had it, it's not some little by little. All of a sudden, you come in and you don't feel it, so he's getting close to that. If it happens over the weekend, I'd love to think he's going to go out and take some at-bats. He's obviously eligible.

"We want to see how he manages the next few days. It's kind of tough because you don't want to go out and test it, even though they've done some things up and down the ramp out there. It doesn't hurt him to hit or throw, so he's kept all that going."

Tsuyoshi Wada will make his fourth rehab start Friday night at Norfolk. He's 0-2 with a 5.54 ERA, with nine runs (eight earned) and 13 hits in 13 innings, along with eight walks, 12 strikeouts and two home runs.

Wada's 30-day rehab assignment ends on June 15, and he needs to show significant progress as the date approaches.

"There's some time yet," Showalter said. "There's still a good three weeks before we really have do something, the way I understand it. You'd like to take as much time as possible, considering how much time he's had off."

The reports on Wada were more favorable after his May 26 start against Lehigh Valley, when he allowed three runs and four hits in five innings, with four walks and six strikeouts.

"I think his next couple starts will be key, because the last outing was one where he seemed to take some steps," Showalter said. "You could tell by the language of the reports and talking to them verbally that he caught their attention more about it being possibly something that could help us in the big leagues. The first couple were lacking a little, understandably."

The Orioles still consider Wada a starter, but Showalter wouldn't make a firm commitment today. He made a comparison to Steve Johnson, who's also regarded as a starter but is currently in the bullpen because he's "serving the needs of the club at this point."

"I'm not going to paint myself and ourselves in a corner by saying something now," Showalter said. "I know what I hope. I know what he hopes. We'll see. But I'm viewing him at this point as a starter for us, but don't hold me to it."

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