Showalter talks about Tillman and more

SARASOTA, Fla. - The Orioles may decide on Friday whether to place pitcher Steve Johnson on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right latissimus dorsi muscle.

Manager Buck Showalter confirmed that Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia will be in the Orioles’ lineup for Friday’s game against the State College of Florida.

Urrutia will join a bunch of other players being brought over from minor league camp.

Nick Markakis was given four choices for Friday - go to Fort Myers to play in a Double-A or Triple-A game, play a Single-A game at Twin Lakes Park, play for the Orioles or play for State College of Florida.

Markakis asked who would be starting for the Orioles. Told that Chris Tillman got the assignment, he chose to face a major league pitcher.

Less travel and less chance of being hit by a low-level minor league or college pitcher. Good call.

Tillman, placed on the 15-day disabled list earlier today, is still expected to start the fifth game of the season against the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards.

“We’re hoping that goes well tomorrow and then we’ll see where we are,” Showalter said. “One of the options is for him to pitch the fifth day, if everything goes well tomorrow.”

Showalter doesn’t view Tillman’s placement on the DL as a negative development for the pitcher or the team. He dismissed the notion that the move will be difficult for Tillman.

“Difficult? Why? He made the club,” Showalter said.

“If he’s healthy tomorrow and things go well, that means that he’ll join us and he’s got a chance to be one of our five starting pitchers. Why would it be difficult? That’s pretty good news, isn’t it?

“We talked to him. He’s pretty excited about potentially starting the season with a major league club. Hopefully, it won’t be the last time.”

Showalter isn’t ready to confirm that Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland has made the club, though a spot has opened with Tillman going on the DL.

“Not necessarily,” Showalter said. “It’s still in the air.”

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