The delay isn’t because of a setback suffered after a cortisone injection Wednesday but because of the desire to give Tillman a full 10 days to allow the shot to take full effect.
He will begin his return with a throwing session from 60 feet and 90 feet, the beginning of any rehabilitative throwing progression. He will throw again March 28 before the team decides his next step.
When Showalter said Saturday that Tillman would resume throwing Wednesday, he was optimistic that Tillman wouldn’t have to entirely restart his progression, which ended when his third bullpen session was abruptly cut short after just 10 throws.
“The doctors, they all convened and talked through a lot,” Showalter said. “They want to let that shot go seven, 10 days. After talking it through, they want to let that run its course. They just want to take the full time. They’re the experts, and that’s what we’re doing.”
The delay shows the Orioles’ continuing caution with Tillman and their efforts to alleviate his lingering shoulder discomfort before he continues throwing.
To return to the rotation in time for the club’s stretch run last season, Tillman received an injection in August for his shoulder, then took a platelet-rich plasma injection in December when soreness in his shoulder interrupted his offseason routine.
By allowing the injection to run its full course, the Orioles hope the pain in Tillman’s shoulder will completely subside, allowing him to pitch through the season. But the change in schedule pushes back his projected return until after April.
Orioles getting back Machado, Castillo: Since the Dominican Republic's World Baseball Classic team was eliminated by Team USA on Saturday night, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado and catcher Welington Castillo likely will return to the club soon.
One of Showalter’s biggest concerns about the WBC has been how players have to prepare for high-intensity games, then return to the lower-profile exhibition schedule as they ready for the regular season.
Showalter said he texted both players, telling them to take their time in returning to camp. He has said he prefers that his WBC players take a few days off to rest before returning. Showalter said he will talk to each player about how much playing time they want in the final weeks of spring training.
They received plenty of at-bats in the WBC: Machado had a team-high 26 at-bats with the Dominicans, hitting .269. Castillo caught every inning of all six games and hit .250 in 22 at-bats.
“I don’t want them to feel like they’ve got to be here today” Showalter said. “I want them to get away from it a little bit. Now, if they come in and say, ‘No, I want to get right into the flow right away,’ if I’m a betting man, I’m thinking they’re going to want to be in the locker room and kind of give and take with their at-bats because they have plenty of at-bats. They would have led our team in plate appearances last year where they are, and [in] innings played. That’s the only two things we keep up with them. I haven’t looked at a stat sheet all spring in terms of what they’re hitting.”
Around the horn: The club will make about six roster cuts after Sunday’s game. … Showalter said utility player Ryan Flaherty, who received a cortisone injection for a sore shoulder, likely will return for Tuesday’s home game against the Toronto Blue Jays. … Outfielder Seth Smith (hamstring) could return shortly after that.