The Orioles could turn to Paulino, who arrived into camp more than three weeks late because of visa problems. Paulino has caught in the past two games, will have a day off, then play in two more this weekend in hopes he can get up to speed after the layoff.
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Joker Marchant Stadium, 2301 Lakeland Hills Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33805, USA
The Orioles also will watch the waiver wire closely for a potential reserve catcher as the exhibition season begins to wane and other clubs experience roster crunches.
The Orioles optioned pitcher Oliver Drake (Navy) to Double-A Bowie on Thursday and also told catcher Caleb Joseph that he will be reassigned to minor league camp. Both were at Thursday's game at Joker Marchant Stadium — and so was first baseman Joe Mahoney, who was optioned Wednesday.
Showalter said it's possible they will stay with the club for several more days while the Orioles gets through split-squad games Saturday and Sunday. After Monday's day off, Showalter said the roster, which sits at 47, will be thinned out more.
Wada may pitch Sunday
Lefty Tsuyoshi Wada (elbow) might pitch one or two innings Sunday in Orlando against the Atlanta Braves, which would be his Orioles Grapefruit League debut. He threw a 33-pitch simulated game Wednesday and feels he is ready to pitch in a game.
"We have a lot of different options, and we talked to him, too," Showalter said. "I think he wants to face major league hitters."
Right-hander Alfredo Simon has been dealing with a sore groin but says he is feeling better, and Showalter said he expects Simon will pitch Saturday or Sunday, depending on how he feels. Lefty Zach Britton (shoulder) allowed no hits and no runs in two innings during a Triple-A game against Boston Red Sox farmhands at Twin Lakes Park. He threw 31 pitches in the game and four more afterward in the bullpen to reach his 35-pitch limit. Righty Jason Berken (hamstring) threw off flat ground and a half-mound, and Showalter said he is getting close to pitching against hitters.
Around the horn
Bench coach John Russell will manage Saturday's split-squad game at Fort Myers against Boston. Showalter hopes to be able to manage both games Sunday — an afternoon game in Orlando and an evening game in Sarasota. … The Orioles' 2011 eighth-round pick, Johnny Ruettiger, was an outfield replacement in Thursday's game, his first action with the big league club. He is the nephew of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger of Notre Dame fame.
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