Hunter to pitch at Delmarva this weekend

ARLINGTON, Texas - Orioles reliever Tommy Hunter will pitch at Single-A Delmarva Saturday night on a brief injury rehab assignment.

How brief?

The Orioles plan to activate Hunter before Sunday afternoon’s game against the Athletics at Camden Yards.

Hunter pitched two innings in today’s simulated game before batting practice and covered first base. He will be used in relief for the Shorebirds’ game against Lakewood that begins at 6:35 p.m.

“Saturday, he will drive up to Delmarva,” said manager Buck Showalter. “It’s our only home team. He won’t start that game, but he will pitch in relief and get back in the car and hopefully join us for Sunday’s day game.”

Kevin Gausman will be placed on the taxi squad Friday in case he’s needed to start the following night while Miguel Gonzalez goes on the disabled list.

Showalter said there’s an “outside chance” that Gonzalez will avoid the DL, but I’d say he’s headed there. The Orioles don’t want to risk having him come out of a game after one inning due to tightness in his oblique.

“Miguel feels a little better today. We’ll see,” Showalter said. “Today is Day 6 that you can backdate. You can’t go more than 10.”

Gonzalez will play catch on Friday at Camden Yards.

“You can’t really do any evaluation of it until he throws,” Showalter said. “You can’t do anything but prepare that he’s not going to pitch. Than, it’s a matter of do you want to wait a couple more days.

“Sunday is still a possibility. Until he puts a ball in his hand and throws, it’s just impossible to handicap it. He’d have to really go, ‘Gosh, I feel nothing. This feels great’ to be a candidate for Saturday. But how do you know he’s going to come in the next day and feel the same?

“You cant have a starter spit the bit in the first inning and then have to cover eight more innings.”

T.J. McFarland also remains a candidate to start Saturday if Gonzalez isn’t available, but Gausman will be in Baltimore just in case.

Showalter said catcher Matt Wieters’ throwing session today went “OK.” He added that Wieters didn’t take a “quantum leap” in his progression.

Bud Norris expects to start Monday against the Red Sox at Camden Yards after taking a shot off his right forearm last night.

“Bud’s sore today,” Showalter said, “but I think we’ll have a better idea tomorrow what we’re dealing with him.”

Steve Johnson, on the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis, has been cleared to do some light tossing.

Dylan Bundy, who’s made four starts in extended spring training, will throw a bullpen session Friday in Sarasota.

Rule 5 pick Michael Almanzar - remember him? - is doing full baseball activities in Sarasota.

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