6/4/2013 7:51 P.M. ET
Strop throws 20-pitch simulated game
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
HOUSTON -- Pedro Strop (lower back strain) threw a 20-pitch simulated game on Tuesday afternoon and the plan is for him to take a day off and fly to Sarasota, Fla., to throw an inning on Thursday for possible reinstatement this weekend.
"He feels good physically," manager Buck Showalter said of Strop, who is eligible to come off the disabled list on Saturday and will rejoin the team in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Friday. "Threw the ball really well today. Wasn't a lot of fun to try to find two or three guys to hit off him. Not my idea of a fun afternoon in Houston. They had the roof open then."
Strop, who threw to teammates Alexi Casilla and Steve Pearce, said he mixed up his pitches like he normally would during a game and has been using the time on the DL to work with pitching coach Rick Adair on making his delivery more compact.
"More in line, just vertical movements. Just try to get on top of the ball and everything, and it's been pretty good so far," said Strop, who has no issues with his back. "Nobody wants to get hurt, but the situation, if you got hurt don't just sit around, 'Oh I'm hurt.' If you are able to do some stuff and work on the things you need, it's good."
Markakis to miss two games for grandmother's funeral
HOUSTON -- Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis will leave the team following Tuesday's game to attend his grandmother's funeral and he will miss the following two games in Houston.
Markakis, who drove to the Long Island area following Sunday's game, said he was able to be with her for about an hour before she passed away. He will depart on Wednesday and rejoin the team in Tampa on Friday, with manager Buck Showalter using a short bench until then so Markakis can be available for that entire series.
"I'm sure they have good reasons for the bereavement [rule] but you have to take all three days or none at all," Showalter said. "Unless something happens, the bullpen gets blown up or we play 16 innings [Tuesday night] where we need the spot [in the bullpen], the plan right now is we go into tonight and then play short the next two days."
Markakis entered Tuesday's game hitting .305 with seven homers and 35 RBIs.
Teagarden returns from DL to rejoin Orioles
HOUSTON -- The Orioles reinstated catcher Taylor Teagarden prior to Tuesday's series opener in Houston, designating backstop Chris Snyder to make room on the 25-man roster.
Teagarden, who has been on the disabled list with a dislocated left thumb, played on a rehab assignment for Triple-A Norfolk over the weekend and said the biggest hurdle was gripping a bat.
"The catching part was a real easy transition," said Teagarden, who was placed on the DL on April 28. "The hitting took about a week or two to get going, but I'm really pleased with the way I feel. The range of motion in my thumb isn't like my right thumb by any means, but I can use it in a game without thinking twice about it."
Teagarden caught two games for Norfolk and served at designated hitter on Sunday going 1-for-13 at the plate, and manager Buck Showalter said the main thing he was looking for was health.
"I was talking to him today, he said he feels good," Showalter said of Teagarden, who will likely start Thursday and Sunday. "He said it feels good to get some at-bats. He's been chomping at the bit, he's been gone a while. Glad to have him back. Hate to lose Chris, but glad to have him back. Hopefully we will have him all by the end of the day."
Snyder, due to service time, could decline an assignment to Triple-A Norfolk depending on his options in other organizations. The Orioles remain optimistic that they will be able to keep him. Teagarden, who made the Opening Day roster as Matt Wieters' backup, has appeared in four games for the Orioles this season, going hitless in 13 at-bats. He threw out one of two attempted base stealers.
Chen throws for first time, comes away pain-free
HOUSTON -- Orioles pitcher Wei-Yin Chen made 25 throws in extended spring on Tuesday from 60-75 feet with no pain, and the expectation is he will repeat that again tomorrow. It was the first time Chen has picked up a ball since he suffered a left oblique strain on May 12.
Wilson Betemit (right knee injury) took some swings in the batting cages with second baseman Brian Roberts. It was the first time hitting for Betemit, who is slowly working back into baseball activities.
• The team is deciding whether to start Jason Hammel on Thursday and push back Miguel Gonzalez and Kevin Gausman. Hammel had such a short start on Saturday, Showalter said there's a thought to getting him back out there sooner rather than later. But nothing beyond Chris Tillman and Freddy Garcia (Wednesday) is set in stone just yet.
• Jair Jurrjens exited Sunday's game for Triple-A after 2 2/3 innings, allowing six earned runs, with a right thumb injury that he had checked out today. Jurrjens is day-to-day and it's nothing that serious -- basically inflammation in the joint -- but Showalter said he could miss his next start.
• Tuesday's game marked the first Orioles-Astros meeting since 2008.
• Double-A Bowie first baseman Brandon Waring was named the Eastern League Player of the Week, with Class A Delmarva's pitchers Josh Hader and Matt Price selected for the South Atlantic League North Division All-Star team. Hader attended Old Mill High School just outside Baltimore.
• Top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy (right flexor mass tightness) saw Dr. James Andrews on Monday and was cleared to begin a throwing program on June 10.
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.