Hernandez will not return until September
Reliever throwing in Florida, but sprain will take longer to heal
BALTIMORE -- David Hernandez (left ankle sprain) has started throwing at the Orioles' Spring Training facility in Sarasota, Fla., but manager Buck Showalter said he doesn't expect the reliever to return until rosters expand in September.
Showalter said on Wednesday that he would be "real happy" to have Hernandez back right on Sept. 1, but he acknowledged that it will probably take longer than that.
"That [sprained] ligament there is tough," Showalter said. "It's his landing leg. You got to be careful trying to maintain his arm strength -- you don't want a long period [off] where you can't get [that arm strength] back."
Hernandez injured his ankle while running to cover home plate during a win over the Angels on Aug 4, and he exited the clubhouse on crutches. An MRI reaffirmed the injury and Hernandez flew to Sarasota after the O's homestand wrapped.
Hernandez said the flight down to Florida caused considerable swelling in his ankle, and Showalter indicated on Wednesday that's it been slow to come around.
A converted starter, Hernandez had been one of the O's best late-inning options out of the bullpen. He pitched to a 3.29 ERA over 27 1/3 innings.
Machado to report to Sarasota on Sunday
BALTIMORE -- Third overall Draft pick Manny Machado is expected to be in Baltimore by Wednesday night and will undergo a physical on Thursday and Friday.
Assuming all goes well, Machado will report to the team's Spring Training complex in Sarasota, Fla., on Sunday, with the hope being that he will get into some Gulf Coast League games.
Machado will be formally introduced in a news conference during the team's next homestand, which begins Aug. 31. The delayed announcement is because the 17-year-old Machado wants his mother, who recently underwent surgery and cannot fly, to be a part of the ceremony.
The Orioles agreed to terms with Machado, whose $5.25 million signing bonus is the second-largest in team history, just minutes shy of Monday's midnight deadline. A 6-foot-2, 180-pound shortstop out of Brito Private High School in Miami, Fla., Machado has drawn raves for his smooth footwork, quick hands and solid arm strength. A four-year varsity player, the right-handed-hitting Machado hit .639 (55-for-86) with 12 home runs and 56 RBIs in his senior season, along with 43 runs scored, 27 doubles and 17 stolen bases.
Johnson could return by month's end
BALTIMORE -- Orioles reliever Jim Johnson will throw back-to-back rehab outings for Class A Advanced Frederick beginning Friday, and he is thought to be at least a week away from returning.
Johnson, on the 60-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation, tossed two scoreless innings for the Keys on Tuesday night with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail in attendance. He will take the next two days off before throwing consecutive games this weekend, and manager Buck Showalter said the team will evaluate Johnson after that.
"He's not completely back," Showalter said of Johnson, who has admitted to being a little rusty on the hill. "He's not ready to come here yet. So, we will see where we are after those two back-to-backs."
Johnson has been on the shelf since May 28, and while he won't be ready for Tuesday's start of a six-game road trip, there's a possibility Baltimore could activate him for next weekend's three-game set in Anaheim.
Given the length of time Johnson has missed, the O's could also err on the side of caution and hold off until their next homestand, which starts on Aug. 31.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.