Orioles right-hander Bud Norris 'still in play' to start Monday, plus notes and tonight's lineups

Orioles right-hander Bud Norris, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin, is “still in play” to start Monday against the Washington Nationals, manager Buck Showalter said in his news conference before Thursday’s game against the Texas Rangers.

Norris will take pitcher’s fielding practice this afternoon and will toss either a bullpen session or a simulated game Friday.

The right-hander said he hasn’t had any further setbacks to his injury, and that he anticipates feeling healthy enough to start Monday, the earliest he can return from the disabled list.

But Showalter said today’s fielding session and Friday’s work will help clarify when Norris will start.

Here are more highlights from Showalter’s news conference:

** Catcher Matt Wieters, who had season-ending surgery to repair a ligament in his right elbow in June, will join the club from Thursday to Sunday next week in Baltimore.

** Outfielder Henry Urrutia, who is on the minor league disabled list after undergoing sports hernia surgery in May, will begin a rehabilitation assignment next week. Showalter thinks Urrutia has the potential to join the Orioles this year. 

** Alexi Casilla had surgery this week to repair a fractured hamate bone in his right hand, Showalter said. The operation was performed by Dr. Brian Schofield in Sarasota, Fla. The infielder had been playing at Triple-A Norfolk.

** Right-hander Steve Johnson, who was on the minor league disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, will pitch two innings Saturday for the Gulf Coast League Orioles. If that goes well, he likely will likely advance to a higher affiliate.

** If tonight’s game is rained out, Showalter said he expects it to be made up on a mutual day off later this year. One feasible date is Aug. 21, though it would interrupt a road trip for the Orioles and force them to go 27 days without a break, from Aug. 15 to to Sept. 11.

Here are tonight’s lineups:

Orioles: Markakis RF, Pearce LF, Jones CF, Cruz DH, Davis 1B, Hardy SS, Schoop 2B, Flaherty 3B, Hundley C, Chen P 

Rangers: Choo DH, Andrus SS, Rios RF, Beltre 3B, Martin CF, Gimenez C, Pena 1B, Choice LF, Odor 2B, Darvish P 



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