The Orioles look to be on their way to getting healthier at the big league level.
Outfielder Joey Rickard (left middle finger) was slated to play for Low-A Delmarva today, the start of an injury rehab assignment. Rickard initially was supposed to play with Double-A Bowie in Richmond today, but that game was rained out. Orioles manager Buck Showalter talked to Delmarva manager Ryan Minor and said he thought the Shorebirds had a solid chance of playing Monday’s game.
Rickard likely will play at Delmarva on Tuesday as well. Showalter said the organization thought about moving Rickard to a higher level, but, again, rain is in the forecast throughout the region. Rickard may not need more than two games before returning to the Orioles.
Right-hander Chris Tillman (right shoulder) said he has felt no discomfort after his last start at Double-A Harrisburg and hopes for a 75-pitch outing Thursday for High-A Frederick at Potomac. He admitted that he feels like he is basically going through spring training – he missed the exhibition season due to the injury – but is now nearing the end of that period. Tillman could return May 2 – the next time the Orioles’ need a fifth starter – but he said he won’t know how realistic that is until after his outing Thursday.
Closer Zach Britton (left forearm) was waiting before Monday’s game to be examined by a hand specialist, but he played catch and feels fine. Assuming he is cleared today, he’ll throw a full side session off a mound Wednesday. The next step after that has not been determined, but Britton likely will pitch in at least one minor-league rehab game before re-joining the Orioles.
Outfielder Seth Smith (right hamstring) was back in the lineup today against Tampa Bay. He hadn’t played since Tuesday in Cincinnati.
Showalter said he expects there to be rain throughout the night tonight, but there is hope they’ll get the game in. Tuesday’s forecast also calls for rain.