BALTIMORE -- Koji Uehara will not be activated until at least Sunday, with interim manager Juan Samuel saying the team could opt to wait until after Monday's off-day to officially reinstate the reliever.
Uehara threw 21 pitches against teammates Jake Fox and Scott Moore prior to Thursday's game, and Samuel said at the time that his activation would hinge on how Koji bounced back. On Friday, Samuel confirmed Uehara would not be available to pitch on Saturday, which is why the team will wait before making a roster move.
"Whether we do it Sunday, we will see what our needs are," Samuel said. "That's a decision we are still monitoring."
With Lou Montanez expected to be placed on the disabled list to clear a spot for Brad Bergesen to start on Saturday, Uehara's activation will likely signal the end for an O's reliever. Frank Mata (0-0, 5.91 ERA) and Matt Albers (2-3, 5.79 ERA) are both candidates, although Albers is out of options and would have to clear waivers first.
The team could opt to take off a position player, but with Montanez on the shelf and Ty Wigginton out of Friday's lineup with a sore back, an arm is more expendable.
Wigginton gets day off to rest sore back
BALTIMORE -- Ty Wigginton was out of the Orioles' starting lineup on Friday for just the second time since April 13, and is day-to-day with minor back stiffness.
"It happened in [Thursday] night's game," Wigginton said. "I went down the line in my last at-bat, and when I got my glove and stuff, I noticed it getting pretty tight. It's the least of my concerns."
Wigginton said he wasn't worried about it being a nagging injury, a sentiment echoed by interim manager Juan Samuel.
"[I] didn't want to take a chance," Samuel said of playing Wigginton. "I think he could also use an off-day."
A bright spot in the Orioles' disappointing season, Wigginton went 3-for-14 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored in the recently-wrapped series against Florida. He has already eclipsed his home run total from last year, blasting a team-leading 13 homers and 40 RBIs, but hasn't gone yard since May 22.
Orioles closer Michael Gonzalez (left shoulder strain) threw on Friday with no reported problems and is expected to go on a rehab assignment with one of the team's affiliates early next week. Gonzalez could be activated prior to Baltimore's road trip that starts July 2. ... Outfielder Felix Pie (upper back strain) went 2-for-5 in his first rehab game with Class A Advanced Frederick on Thursday afternoon. Pie, who also played two Gulf Coast League games, is expected to be re-evaluated following a seven- to 10-day rehab stint, and he could also rejoin the team in early July. ... Former Orioles catcher and current MASN broadcast Rick Dempsey, who was rumored to be in the mix for the team's managerial job, is expected to meet with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail sometime next week. ... Triple-A Norfolk right-hander Brandon Erbe was placed on the disabled list, retroactive to Wednesday, with right shoulder soreness. ... Orioles hitting coach Terry Crowley was not at Friday's game. Crowley left due to a personal matter, with Minor League instructor Mike Bordick replacing him in the dugout. ... Orioles fourth-round pick Trent Mummey was assigned to the short-season Class A Aberdeen Ironbirds on Friday. Mummey was activated for the game, but was not in the starting lineup.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.