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Orioles notes: Welington Castillo to rehab at Bowie before being activated

Injured catcher Welington Castillo is itching to get back from the disabled list, but he has several more steps in his rehabilitation process before possibly being activated Tuesday in Detroit.

He's eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list Thursday, but he'll test his sore shoulder with a throwing session instead and throw to bases Saturday in Bowie before a determination is made whether he can play a minor league rehab game with the Double-A Baysox.

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"We're not going to take him to all the way to Kansas City and then fly him back to Bowie and then fly him back potentially to Detroit," manager Buck Showalter said. "So after tomorrow's game, he'll stay here and work at Bowie and [with athletic trainer] Pat Wesley. If he gets through Saturday and it's good, then it's kind of a baseball decision."

Castillo said earlier in the day that he didn't think he would need to play a minor league game, but he had not talked to Showalter yet.

"I don't need a rehab assignment," he said. "I'm going to go out and catch a 'pen, I'm going to start doing that today. I might jump into the 'pen with my bat, just tracking. But I don't think I'm going to need a rehab assignment. I think I'm going to be fine."

Showalter said he explained the situation to Castillo and they are on the same page.

"As long as there's a closed end on it," Showalter said. "I told him what we hoped. We've got to get through tomorrow and we've got to get through Saturday and we've got to get through Sunday and see where we go from there. I'd love to be sitting here Sunday and all three of those things went well and we've got to decide whether we want to activate him on Tuesday or not."

Asher stays put: Right-hander Alec Asher's 31/3 scoreless innings Sunday proved not to be the doomed assignment such relief appearances have been for others. He wasn't optioned to the minors and was available to pitch Wednesday in Washington.

While so many of his contemporaries — most recently right-hander Logan Verrett — have pitched well only to go down, he said he doesn't read much into the fact that he stayed.

"I don't try to pay attention to any of the transactions or anything like that," Asher said. "I just try to focus on doing my job, which is going out and pitching when they need me and getting guys out."

Asher has been praised by the coaching staff for being so pliable in his role en route to a 2.55 ERA in 172/3 innings over five appearances (two starts). Asher said while he's his own harshest critic, he's pleased with what he has given the Orioles so far.

"I have a good idea of when I'm throwing well and when I'm not," Asher said. "I'm just focused on one outing a time, and when my name is called, do my job. … I feel like I've been throwing really well. I've been executing my plans and doing my job."

Bullpen surprisingly rested: Despite coming off a 12-inning game Tuesday night, the Orioles entered the National League half of their interleague series against the Washington Nationals with a fairly rested bullpen, thanks to the strong three-inning performance of Verrett. The right-handed middle reliever was rewarded for his contribution with a trip back to Triple-A Norfolk.

The Orioles recalled left-hander Vidal Nuno and had at least four other relievers available Wednesday.

"We get Asher back tonight and I'm hoping that Darren [O'Day] and Brad [Brach] are available tonight," Showalter said before the game. "We have Donnie [Hart], so we're in pretty good shape. We'll see how Mychal [Givens] feels after BP, whether he's available. It depends, as always, on how deeply we can get with Wade [Miley]."

Interleague intrigue: Showalter has managed both sides of the interleague equation and clearly has mixed feelings about it. He's a guy who loves to play matchup baseball and NL rules give him an extra player on the bench instead of a designated hitter, but that's not as much of an advantage when you're trying to keep an injury-depleted bullpen fresh.

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"The problem with that is you're bringing in a pitcher out of your bullpen," Showalter said. "I don't think I've ever had as many guys on the bench as I have in the bullpen, except in spring training. That could be an advantage later in the game because you don't mind making multiple moves. Sometimes you get carried away. You've got too many toys."

Showalter conceded he had a momentary lapse when he was prepping for Wednesday night's game.

"I've got to tell you, I was making out the lineup at 2 o'clock and it hit me I had a DH in there and I had to redo it," he said. "I liked the lineup a little better with the DH in it."

Around the horn: Left-hander Zach Britton went through his first day of treatment at the Orioles' extended spring training camp in Sarasota, Fla. … Seth Smith started in left field for only the second time this season. … First base coach Wayne Kirby will be away from the team Friday and Saturday to attend his daughter's college graduation in Las Vegas.

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