04/25/12 12:15 AM ET
Willis files grievance
By Jeff Seidel / Special to MLB.com
Matt Sosnick is Willis' agent and told MLB.com on Tuesday that the pitcher wanted to get back to being a starter and not come out of the bullpen.
"We have not been contact[ed] by one team," Sosnick said. "We don't have a job lined up ... all we want to do is find a job in Triple-A where he can start. Out of respect for the process and the rules, Dontrelle never would have left if they told us he couldn't. He's having a really hard time going through the process of relieving. He's much more comfortable starting and going through the process of starting."
Willis asked for his release last Wednesday or Thursday and has been gone since Thursday.
O's executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette confirmed to MLB.com on Monday that Willis had left Norfolk, and there were no plans to grant Willis his official release.
At the time, Duquette also told MLB.com that he hasn't spoken with Willis since the pitcher left Norfolk.
The 30-year-old Willis sat down with Duquette while the team was playing at Gwinnett (Ga.) on Thursday, and Duquette said the organization laid out a plan to get Willis the innings he needed to build him up to be a successful reliever. Duquette said Willis didn't have a problem with the plan at the time, and the organization is still holding out hope that Willis will return.
Signed to a Minor League deal by Baltimore after being released this spring by the Phillies, the plan from the get-go was to have Willis learn to become a lefty specialist. He suffered a left forearm strain April 12 and was placed on the restricted list -- with no specific reasoning for the move -- on Sunday night.
Johnson misses series opener with Jays
BALTIMORE -- Closer Jim Johnson missed Tuesday's series-opening victory over the Blue Jays after spending Monday and Tuesday night in a local hospital.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Tuesday that Johnson's been bothered by some kind of flu or virus. Showalter said Johnson appeared to be feeling a little better Monday, battling the flu-like symptoms, which had bothered several players on the recent 10-game road trip. But it got worse at night, and Johnson went to the hospital and stayed overnight.
"When something viral starts, it runs all through the team," Showalter said. "The team was pretty much, with very few exceptions, pretty sick the last three games in Anaheim, and Jimmy was in the hospital last night."
Showalter hadn't yet seen Johnson when the Orioles were starting batting practice Tuesday. They were waiting on some reports to see if it was flu, food poisoning or something else.
"Last I spoke to [trainer] Richie [Bancells], updating me in fourth inning, nothing's really changed," Showalter said after the game. "They were waiting back on the bacterial reports so they could find the right way to attack it. I know what the doctor said about time frame at the shortest, but I think he's talking about in his experience, but not maybe with Jim Johnson, so we'll see where the days take us. But I think Jimmy's in jeopardy tomorrow."
Pedro Strop recorded his first career save in Johnson's absence, allowing a walk in a scoreless ninth inning.
Neck spasms keep Reimold out of lineup
BALTIMORE -- The neck spasms that have bothered Nolan Reimold in recent days are still causing problems for the left fielder, and he was again held out of the starting lineup for Tuesday's game with the Blue Jays.
Endy Chavez lead off off and played left field in place of Reimold, who's now been out of the starting lineup for the past three games. He last started in the opener of the Angels series in Anaheim on Friday night.
Showalter said this has been a struggle for Reimold, but he's still considered day to day.
"He's getting a little better, little by little," Showalter said. "Playing has set him back. He's OK for maybe half to three-fourths of the game, and then as the game goes on, it gets worse. We're trying to resolve it completely, so the game doesn't set him back to square one."
Showalter said that, in an emergency, he probably could have used Reimold. But the Orioles are trying to be careful with the situation.
Reimold has gotten off to a hot start. He's been batting leadoff and has a .370 average with five homers and 10 RBIs in just 11 games.
Tests show ligament damage in Wada's elbow
BALTIMORE -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter said tests on left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada's throwing elbow showed ligament damage.
Wada had a magnetic resonance angiography test done on Tuesday on his left elbow, which showed the issue, before the Orioles beat the Blue Jays, 2-1, in the series opener.
"There's some problems with the ligament, the MRA showed," Showalter said. "We're contemplating, along with him, of what the next direction to take. It did show some damage in there with the ligament that didn't show up in the first physical we took when he was signed."
Showalter said Wada's people and the Orioles have to go over everything and make decisions about where to go from here. The left-hander signed a two-year deal before the season, but hasn't pitched yet.
Andino to miss Wednesday for daughter's birth
BALTIMORE -- Robert Andino is leaving the team after Tuesday's game to be with his wife, scheduled to have the family's third baby on Wednesday at noon.
Showalter said Andino is headed back to Miami to be with his wife for the birth -- the baby is going to be a girl -- and is going to miss Wednesday's game and possibly one more.
The Orioles will be able to replace him on the roster for one day and possibly two due to paternity leave.
"Barring complications, I don't see him out more than two days," Showalter said.
O's recognize Robinson in pregame ceremony
Before Tuesday's game with the Blue Jays, the Orioles honored Matthew Robinson, a student at Howard University who is one of over 1,300 young men and women who went to college thanks to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Major League Baseball and the Orioles.
The ceremony was held in recognition of the 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson becoming the first black player in Major League Baseball.
The Orioles all wore No. 42 during the April 15 game in Toronto, joining all other Major League teams in honoring Robinson's historic achievement.
Each player's authenticated game-worn and autographed No. 42 jersey is currently being auctioned at orioles.com to benefit the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. The auction concludes at 11:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
• Third baseman Ryan Flaherty made his first home start of the season. He batted eighth in the starting lineup.
• The Orioles have a 4-5 record when losing after seven innings this season. That's already a big improvement over 2011 when they were 5-83 in games when down after seven innings.
• Showalter needs six more victories to reach 1,000 for his career.
• J.J. Hardy's first-inning double was his first double this season.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. Brittany Ghiroli contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.