Pregame updates from Showalter

You've got the news. Now read the quotes.

Doctors are still running tests on closer Jim Johnson, and they "eliminated some things," manager Buck Showalter said.

That's the good news.

The bad news is they're still trying to pinpoint the cause of Johnson's illness. It's a bacterial issue.

"They haven't completely identified it," Showalter said.

"He's getting a little frustrated. Texted back and forth a little with him today."

Nolan Reimold is trying to avoid the disabled list. He likes his chances of doing it, but the Orioles won't wait much longer for his return.

"Nolan's getting better, very close," Showalter said. "He's going to do some activities today and see if we can not have any repercussions from it, and then hopefully be able to turn him loose."

As I noted late last night - or was it early this morning? - Jason Berken would be working on normal rest if he pitches tonight. He's available out of the bullpen.

"He's had four days' rest and he's ready to go," Showalter said. "He's ready to give us length and some other things if needed, especially with Jimmy being out."

Showalter counted nine players with upper-respiratory issues. I'm afraid to walk into the clubhouse.

Actually, I'm now afraid to drive into the A lot.

"Hopefully, we'll get through it," Showalter said. "Every club has that challenge. It just happens when nobody really wants to hear it. That's part of it."

It took a while, but the subject turned to Japanese left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada.

"It looks like he's in the process of making arrangements to see Dr. (Lewis) Yocum, second opinion," Showalter said. "It'll be good, too, because he did the original physical and obviously there's some changes there from the original physical. I think after Dr. Yocum sees him, I think they'll make a decision about what way to proceed."

The discomfort that Wada is experiencing now doesn't quite compare to spring training.

"What he's having now is in a different place. This is a different side of the elbow. It's in a different place," Showalter said.

"The MRA is a completely different look than what Dr. Yocum had, so there's been some changes there since December. I was asking if he felt it on one pitch or something like that and he said, 'No.' He said he couldn't pinpoint anything, which might be good news."

Team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens aspirated the elbow a few days ago to provide some relief.

Asked if he's disappointed that he might not see Wada pitch, Showalter replied, "Oh, I still hope we will. This is just my opinion. I wouldn't go in that direction. You can all do whatever you want to, but there's still hope. No one's definitively said this is what has to happen. He could rehab this thing and be back. Always the potential of surgery and if that happens, the way things are nowadays, he could be pitching for us again. Either way, I'm going to stay positive on it.

"I still think we're going to get what he's got to offer. He was as upbeat as you could be today talking to him. I know he's disappointed. Dr. Yocum's had a real history with him. I think he removed some bone chips back in '07, something like that, so he's familiar with his elbow."

Will we ever see Taylor Teagarden behind the plate?

"Teagarden, it looks like he's going to get a third (epidural) injection," Showalter said. "It's not progressing very well. This is the last one in a series if you take them, and if that doesn't do the trick, then you'll have to go down a different road."

I mentioned on Monday that Zach Britton threw a few pitches off a mound, with the catcher positioned in front of the plate. Britton's progress is encouraging.

"He's doing good," Showalter said. "He's right on schedule as far as the program that was set up from the get-go. He's had no setbacks. He's nearing the point where he gets on the mound. He's getting pretty close, so we're looking forward to that. But he's done all the work to get this behind him."

Showalter obviously means that Britton will throw from a mound with the catcher positioned behind the plate.

Showalter has no immediate plans to adjust his rotation following Monday's off day. He's still got Brian Matusz listed as tomorrow night's starter, followed by Jake Arrieta Friday vs. Oakland, Wei-Yin Chen Saturday and Tommy Hunter Sunday.

And finally, I've reached 7,000 followers on Twitter (@MASNroch). Thanks for tagging along.

blog comments powered by Disqus