08/26/10 11:44 PM ET
Available off bench, Jones sits out finale
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
"I felt a million times better than I did [Wednesday]," said Jones, who exited Tuesday's game prior to the bottom of the fourth inning after being hit by White Sox starter Gavin Floyd. "So I guess [Friday] is the day hopefully I can play."
Manager Buck Showalter wasn't sure how Jones would respond and he tentatively put him in the lineup on Thursday afternoon. However, Jones had trouble running, catching and throwing, so the Orioles decided to play it safe and give him another day. He was available, but unused, in an emergency situation off the bench.
"I'm concerned, but he's gotten better," Showalter said. "If [his injury] was exactly the same, it would be a little different."
Gabino optioned to make room for Johnson
CHICAGO -- Following Thursday's 8-0 series loss to Chicago, the Orioles optioned reliever Armando Gabino to Triple-A Norfolk. Gabino's roster spot is expected to be filled by setup man Jim Johnson, who will be officially activated prior to Friday's game.
Gabino pitched to a 13.50 ERA in five appearances, allowing seven earned runs on nine hits -- including three runs -- over 4 2/3 innings. He entered following Rick VandenHurk to start the eighth on Thursday and surrendered a two-run homer to Alex Rios that helped pad the White Sox lead.
Johnson (right elbow inflammation) is on the 60-day disabled list and will need to be added to the team's 40-man roster. Given that Jason Berken is done for the season with a slight tear in his right labrum, the expected move is to shift him from the 15 to the 60-day DL.
Tillman, not Britton, likely to be among callups
CHICAGO -- The Orioles will only take on players they can use for September callups, and while right-hander Chris Tillman is expected to be recalled and likely inserted into the rotation, it's becoming far less likely that lefty prospect Zach Britton will end the season in Baltimore.
While there had been some speculation that Britton, the organization's top pitching prospect, could come up and work out of the bullpen, manager Buck Showalter said that probably won't be the case.
"You wouldn't want to bring a guy up to the big leagues for the first time and have him pitch in a position that he hasn't done before," Showalter said. "I don't think that would be fair to him."
Britton allowed two runs over 5 2/3 innings at Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday night and has pitched to a 2.25 ERA in his past three starts. He's thrown 142 1/3 innings this year, just shy of his career high of 147, but Showalter said workload won't be a factor in determining what the Orioles do with Britton.
"There are a lot of variables," Showalter said. "Zach is in a good position innings-wise. He's not done starting in Norfolk] either."
Britton is scheduled to pitch for the Tides again on Monday, with Tillman starting on Thursday night. Orioles officials have said before that the preference would be to insert Tillman in the rotation -- which could be expanded to six starters -- and given the team's several off-days in September, having Britton start would require having some pitchers throw on seven or eight days of rest.
It's possible the team could alter plans by either shutting down another arm or moving veteran Kevin Millwood.
Showalter planned on conferring with president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail -- who was not in Chicago because he's watching the team's affiliates -- again in Anaheim this weekend to further evaluate their September options.
"I'm leaning on Andy and the Minor League people, and whatever they say, I'm obviously fine with it," Showalter said. "Those are conversations that we'll probably get going the next few days. Whatever they want to do, I'm obviously good with."
Bordick impressed with top pick Machado
CHICAGO -- Orioles offensive coordinator and roving instructor Mike Bordick has been impressed with third overall Draft pick Manny Machado, who he's been working with at the team's Spring Training complex in Sarasota, Fla.
"Bordy's a hard guy to impress, which is good," said manager Buck Showalter. "He was really impressed with [Machado's] work ethic. He said that he hopes that he doesn't grow anymore, he needs to fill into this body first. He's a big kid."
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. The right-handed hitter batted .639 (55-for-86) with 12 home runs and 56 RBIs in his senior season for Brito and was considered one of three stand-alone talents in this year's Draft.
The Orioles agreed to terms with Machado just minutes before this year's deadline, awarding the 18-year-old a $5.25 million signing bonus -- the second-largest figure in team history. Machado has been working out with Bordick, and the Orioles are hopeful he can get into a few Gulf Coast League games before coming back to Baltimore for an unofficial instructional league next month.
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.