HOUSTON - Reliever Tommy Hunter threw a bullpen session today at Double-A Bowie and the feedback was positive.
Hunter will join the Orioles in Arlington and throw on Tuesday for pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti. He’s expected to pitch in two rehab games before being activated from the disabled list.
Hunter, on the DL with a strained left groin, could be activated on June 9 - four days after he’s eligible.
Matt Wieters’ second throwing session today went extremely well - better than Friday, according to Showalter, who described it as “encouraging.”
Wieters, on the DL with a strained right elbow, will rest Monday and throw again on Tuesday.
Showalter said Wieters won’t be ready to play within two weeks. That’s too optimistic.
Still no word on whether Johan Santana will opt out of his contract with the Orioles. Executive vice president Dan Duquette said he’s still working on it and he has until midnight Monday.
Santana is expected to push back the date and pitch in one more extended spring training game before joining Triple-A Norfolk on June 8 and Double-A Bowie on June 13.
On that schedule, Santana could join the Orioles on June 18.
Nick Markakis said he’s still dealing with some neck stiffness, which has cropped up on occasion since opening day. He received treatment again today and will serve as the designated hitter.
Markakis said he feels the discomfort more on his throws than when he swings a bat.
Nolan Reimold played left field at extended spring training Saturday and hit the ball hard in three of his four at-bats, according to Showalter.
Minor league infield coordinator Dave Anderson will meet up with the Orioles in Arlington and offer his assistance without formally joining the coaching staff. Anderson used to be a coach with the Rangers.
Update: Bud Norris isn’t the only starter who will receive extra rest. Chris Tillman’s next start will come Saturday against the Athletics at Camden Yards. Tillman pitched yesterday and held the Astros to one run over 6 2/3 innings.
Wei-Yin Chen, today’s starter in Houston, will take the mound again on Friday.