Showalter on Jimenez, Johnson and more (updated)

WASHINGTON - Orioles manager Buck Showalter didn’t offer a date today for Ubaldo Jimenez to come off the disabled list and make a start.

Showalter said it’s possible “anytime after Thursday,” which makes sense, considering that Jimenez worked six innings last night at Triple-A Norfolk.

“We’re going day to day,” Showalter said before tonight’s game against the Nationals in D.C.

Showalter spoke with Tides manager Ron Johnson to get a report on Jimenez, who allowed one run in six innings.

“Got his work in, got his pitch count up,” Showalter said. “Better than last time. Felt good physically, no problems with the ankle.

“He got done what he needed to get done down there.”

Now, it’s a matter of creating a spot for Jimenez on the pitching staff.

“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow with it, take his work day when he needs to and we’ll see how it slots out after Thursday,” Showalter said.


Asked whether Jimenez definitely is returning as a starter, Showalter replied, “We’re going to see what best fits us between now and then. We’ve got some other things to look at, see where it fits. I’m hoping that everybody continues to pitch well in our rotation and we have a good situation to solve.”

Showalter was busy today. He also spoke to Jim Johnson and pitching rehab coordinator Scott McGregor, who watched the reliever throw a bullpen session today in Sarasota.

“I think the mistake you make is thinking you’ve got some magic dust that you sprinkle on him,” Showalter said. “There are some very capable people in Oakland, and Jimmy being one of them. I know Curt Young, I know Bobby Melvin and they’re really good at what they do. Jimmy’s got some work cut out for him, but he’s certainly got a good pedigree and history of having success.

“He’s got himself a tough decision to make, but a good one. He’s got some people interested in him. Dan (Duquette) and I have painted the picture very bluntly and we’ll see what he says.”

Update: Johnson agreed to terms with a team, but it’s not the Orioles. That’s all I’ve got at the moment.

Showalter’s morning started with a trip to Walter Reed Medical Center, and later, the USO Warrior and Family Center in Bethesda.

“Very rewarding day,” said Showalter, who was joined by wife Angela, Darren O’Day, Miguel Gonzalez, T.J. McFarland, Brad Brach, Andrew Miller, Matt Wieters, Zach Britton, Nick Hundley and Ryan Flaherty. “It’s just so moving. What a great job they do at Walter Reed.

“Our guys, I’m so proud of them, the turnout we had and how engaging they were. And nobody was in a hurry. I understand it’s a little bit of a challenge with the schedule that we have, but that’s probably the best turnout that we had.

“Darren’s kind of been the ringleader of that, too. Seemed to be a lot of bullpen guys there. Impressive. Andrew Miller jumped right in there.”

Showalter said he met a lot of Orioles and a few Yankees fans, too.

“They watch the games every night. It’s an honor just to be around them,” Showalter said.

“It’s hard to describe unless you’ve done it. it’s an emotional tug. You don’t need something like that to keep things in perspective, but... It’s something you realize that, it’s just an honor to be around them and to see the sacrifice they made. And I was so impressed with the care they’re getting.

“One guy was just walking for the first time with his new legs, so to speak. Kind of neat to share that with him.

“I didn’t hear one complaint. And the next time I complain about anything, somebody slap me.”

Bud Norris was supposed to arrive in Toronto tonight ahead of the team, but all the flights out of Baltimore were canceled due to the weather. Norris will meet up with the Orioles in D.C. and hop on the charter.

Norris will oppose Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle Tuesday night in the series opener at Rogers Centre.

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