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03/14/12 5:02 PM ET

Markakis, Johnson make spring debuts

SARASOTA, Fla. -- It wasn't a notable performance on either side, but for the Orioles, just getting key players Nick Markakis and Jim Johnson in a Grapefruit League game on Wednesday was encouraging enough.

"It's a good feel for everybody to see them out there," manager Buck Showalter said. "You don't get too involved at this point in the returns, because you knew it will be a process."

Markakis, working his way back from offseason abdominal surgery, served as designated hitter and went 0-for-2 with a fifth-inning walk. But he never got to test out his legs, as the next three batters all recorded outs.

"I would have liked to have run, just to see where I'm at," Markakis said. "I ran the bases a lot prior to this, and, you know, I think I'm where I want to be right now."

Markakis isn't in any pain, and he will take two days off before returning to the lineup at DH on Saturday. The 28-year-old estimated he needs about 20-25 at-bats to be ready for Opening Day on April 6, although Markakis acknowledged hitting isn't as big of an issue as playing the field, which he will do for the first time on Tuesday.

"Yeah, I'd say so," Markakis said, when asked if roaming right field is the biggest hurdle. "[To] get my natural reaction of going side to side and see how I feel. Everything's fine right now, it's just a matter of getting in that situation and testing it."

Johnson, who has been slowed with lower back discomfort, allowed three runs on four hits in the fifth inning and was tagged with the loss in the O's 11-5 defeat. Expected to a strong candidate for the closer spot, Johnson said it's just a matter of getting back his explosiveness on the mound.

"Right now, everything feels fine," he said. "Like I told [pitching coach Rick Adair], I was like, 'It feels like I'm kind of pitching underwater.' Kind of a slow motion. It's not really that fast-twitch stuff yet, but that will come for sure."

Johnson will be reevaluated on Thursday, and depending on how he feels, will take a day or two off before getting in another game.

Wada reports no pain after simulated game

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Tsuyoshi Wada threw a 33-pitch simulated game on Wednesday morning, and the lefty happily reported afterward, through his interpreter, that "first and foremost, nothing hurt."

Wada, who had been slowed this spring by left elbow inflammation, had no problems on one of the back fields at Ed Smith Stadium, and pitching coach Rick Adair noted that the "ball was jumping out of his hand."

"The action on his two-seamer was great," Adair said. "It located down much better than anticipated. His changeup was above average. His curveball still has a ways to go. His slider is getting close. He's healthy."

Wada will be reevaluated on Thursday morning and the team will then decide whether he will pitch Sunday or Monday. With about three weeks left of camp, Adair said it remains a "possibility" that Wada will be ready and able to compete for a spot in the Opening Day rotation.

"I really don't know about that for sure, but that's what I'm shooting for," Wada said. "I'm going to do everything I can to get one of those spots."

Teagarden receives epidural in lower back

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Taylor Teagarden received an epidural in his lower back on Wednesday to help calm inflammation in the area, and manager Buck Showalter acknowledged the reserve catcher might not be ready for Opening Day.

Teagarden got a CT scan performed on Tuesday, which showed a herniated disc, and he will be out for several days before he can begin the rehab process, which is typically around three weeks.

Ronny Paulino, who arrived to camp three weeks late due to visa issues, is the team's next option to back up catcher Matt Wieters. Paulino is slated to make his first spring start behind the plate on Thursday.


• Nolan Reimold and his wife are expecting their second child this weekend, with labor scheduled to be induced at 12:30 p.m. ET on Friday. He will rejoin the team for Sunday afternoon's game in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., against the Braves, according to manager Buck Showalter.

• Jake Arrieta and Zach Britton will both pitch in Monday's Minor League game at Twin Lakes Park. The Orioles have a scheduled off-day and will use their Class A game as a chance to stretch out both guys. Britton is slated to throw two innings in a Minor League game on Thursday.

• Ryan Flaherty, who is competing for one of the team's bench spots, will get some time at first base this spring. Flaherty, who is a utility guy capable of playing the infield and outfield, said he played four or five games at first in Triple-A last year. He also played it some as a college freshman at Vanderbilt.

• Reliever Willie Eyre was in the clubhouse Wednesday after dealing with a scary situation Tuesday that involved his 3-year-old daughter Lily going into the pool. Eyre said Lily is back with his family and she's doing fine. Eyre will pitch on Friday in Fort Myers, Fla.

• Pitcher Alfredo Simon is dealing with some groin tightness and Showalter said his schedule will be adjusted accordingly.

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.