ARLINGTON, Texas -- Orioles right-hander Tommy Hunter will pitch a minor league rehabilitation game Saturday at Low-A Delmarva, and he could return from the 15-day disabled list the next day.
Hunter, currently on the disabled list with a left groin strain, will pitch in relief for the Shorebirds as they play Lakewood at Perdue Stadium in Salisbury. He threw a two-inning simulated game in Texas before Thursday’s game and responded well to all activities, which included covering first base and fielding grounders.
If all goes well Saturday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Hunter — who was placed on the DL on May 22 — could be activated for Sunday’s game against Oakland.
Conceivably, the Orioles might make roster moves on back-to-back days, the first involving Gonzalez on Saturday, and then to activate Hunter on Sunday.
Norris bruised, hopes to start Monday
Right-hander Bud Norris, who was hit by a comebacker on the right forearm in Wednesday’s game, said Thursday that he doesn’t expect to miss his next start Monday at home against the Boston Red Sox.
Norris said the forearm is still sore, but the swelling in the muscle has gone down. The line drive left its mark — literally. Norris still has a mark from the seams of the baseball on his forearm.
Norris, who has alternated his work day between the second and third day following his starts, said he likely won’t have his work day until Saturday, which would be the third day after his start Wednesday.
Quiet first day of draft for the Orioles
The annual first-year player draft started Thursday, but the Orioles were spectators on the first day.
The Orioles gave up their first-round pick as qualifying offer compensation for signing right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez in February. They traded a first-round sandwich selection — their competitive-balance pick — last year as part of the deal to acquire Norris and lost their second-round pick as compensation for signing outfielder Nelson Cruz.
“We’re sticking Nelson’s face up on the board every time there’s a pick in our slot made, and Jimenez, too,” Showalter said. “It’s weird in a way. It gives you the chance to take some real chances, some fliers. We’ll get some good players.”
The Orioles don’t make their first selection until Friday in the third round (90th overall pick). The draft resumes Friday at 1 p.m. with rounds three through 10, and the 11th through 40th rounds are Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m.
“I love this day,” Showalter said. “Usually I have [clubhouse manager Chris Guth] running them up to me during the game.”
Around the horn
Before Thursday’s game, catcher Matt Wieters participated in another throwing session to test his right elbow. It was his fourth session since he resumed throwing last week. “It went OK,” Showalter said. “Nothing [like] a big quantum leap or anything.” Wieters will throw again before Saturday's game. … Showalter said he told players to not arrive at Camden Yards for Friday’s home game against Oakland until at least 4 p.m. after arriving home from Texas in the morning. Since the Orioles played a night game Thursday and were an hour behind in the Central Time Zone, Showalter said players wouldn’t get into bed until about 8-9 a.m. Friday. … Right-hander Steve Johnson (right shoulder inflammation) was cleared for light tossing Thursday in Sarasota, Fla.. … Rule 5 pick Michael Almanzar, who is on the DL with left patellar tendinitis, began baseball activities and pool conditioning Thursday.