4/22/2014 9:11 P.M. ET
Hamstring feeling better, Hardy nearing return
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
TORONTO -- Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy was not in Tuesday's starting lineup, but he said his right hamstring was feeling "much, much better," and that he could possibly return on Wednesday.
Hardy, who spent Monday night icing the injury at the team hotel, ran and took some ground balls before batting practice and said he's in a much better mood regarding his hamstring injury than he was this weekend in Boston.
"It all felt good enough to where I think tonight if needed I could get in there," said Hardy, who hasn't played since he exited Sunday night's game after six innings.
"I don't think they want me to go tonight and hurt it, but I told them I'm available. We'll see. It's my first time ever having anything like this, so I don't know what to really expect. So, I'm really taking the word from guys who've had it before, and the trainers."
Hardy missed six games early this season with back spasms, and suffered the hamstring injury running the bases in the fifth inning of Sunday's loss. Without him and third baseman Manny Machado, the Orioles have employed an infield of shortstop Ryan Flaherty, third baseman Jonathan Schoop and second baseman Steve Lombardozzi.
"I was really encouraged today. He made some real strides," manager Buck Showalter said of Hardy. "You can tell in his face, most guys you can tell in their face the way they are feeling. J.J. probably could have pushed it and played tonight. I could have done it if I wanted to do it, but -- plus you got the turf here."
Machado set to begin rehab assignment
TORONTO -- Manny Machado will begin his highly-anticipated rehab assignment on Friday for Class A Advanced Frederick as the Orioles third baseman works toward a return early next month.
Manager Buck Showalter said the organization will wait two or three days after Machado is with Frederick and see where he is after that before determining the rest of his timeline. He will go to either Double-A Bowie or Triple-A Norfolk from there, with the O's hopeful Machado won't need to use the full 20 days given to position players on rehab assignments.
"Our plan is for him to start playing there and then see what his needs are," Showalter said. "You can look at the schedule and see what we're thinking. … But we will see what his needs are competition-wise."
Machado served at designated hitter as scheduled Tuesday in an extended spring game and will play seven innings at third base on Wednesday. He is slated to travel back to Frederick on Thursday. The 21-year-old All-Star is coming off of October's left knee surgery.
Wieters dealing with right forearm soreness
TORONTO -- Orioles catcher Matt Wieters was not in Tuesday's starting lineup as he's dealing with right forearm soreness.
Wieters, who said he has never dealt with a similar injury, last played on Sunday night and said he felt the area tighten up during a throw to second base in Boston. He had a scheduled off-day on Monday afternoon, and manager Buck Showalter said he wanted to err on the cautious side in giving Wieters one more day.
"We should be good to go tomorrow," Wieters said. "Just didn't want to turn a two-day soreness into a five-day soreness.
"We are just doing a little treatment to get it back out before I go back to playing again."
Showalter echoed that he planned on penciling in Wieters on Wednesday night, and he was expected to be available off the bench if needed in Tuesday's game. Backup Steve Clevenger got his second consecutive start in Wieters' place.
"It's very minor, and if it wasn't April, [I] would probably be back in there today. But we've got a lot of games left," Wieters said.
"It's not going to limit me in any way [to enter the game later on Tuesday]. It's one of those where you don't want to start the game and not be able to go because it tightens up on you."
Wieters entered Tuesday hitting .321 with three home runs and 11 RBIs.
Lefty McFarland gets call; Pearce DFA'd
TORONTO -- Needing to bolster an overworked bullpen, the Orioles recalled left-hander T.J. McFarland from Triple-A Norfolk and designated outfielder/first baseman Steve Pearce for assignment to clear a roster spot.
"Without naming other names there were about four or five other options we had. None of which we like," manager Buck Showalter said of the difficult decision to place Pearce on waivers. "But [we] kind of got in the corner after four games with Boston. Never know what tonight is going to bring. We had to bring a pitcher. But Steve is a professional. His services are always going to be wanted. It's always tough."
Pearce, who was surrounded by teammates following the news and is very well-liked in the clubhouse, saw very limited playing time this season. He made just one start and was 1-for-7 with appearances in three games total.
McFarland, who was scheduled to start for Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday, gives the Orioles another multi-inning option to go with Josh Stinson, as the O's are coming off a series in which their starters covered just 21 2/3 innings in four games. The lefty was the Orioles' Rule 5 Draft pick last season and competed for a starting spot this spring.
"It was just one of those things. Buck likes me. He didn't want to make the move, but ultimately it was best for the team," Pearce said. "It was the only logical move they could make. I was just the odd man out.
"It's difficult. I'm going to miss the guys. It's tough. Having to leave the team, getting designated for assignment, nobody likes it, but it comes with the territory. It's part of the game. I understand that. I have no bad blood toward anybody. It's just the way it works."
Pearce will likely be claimed by another team, but if he's not, he could opt to return to the Orioles organization in Triple-A.
"The only way I make it work for me is knowing it's best for Steve, and he's going to come out OK one way or the other," Showalter said. "Staying with us [if he clears waivers] is OK, too. I like him."
Initiatives keep Camden Yards eco-friendly
TORONTO -- The Orioles were in Toronto for Earth Day Tuesday, but Baltimore has a slew of green initiatives that help keep Camden Yards eco-friendly.
A smoke-free facility, Oriole Park recycles over 600,000 pounds of materials each year and utilizes energy-efficient fixtures throughout the park, as well as only green-friendly cleaning products. The Orioles have a composting program in place year-round and nearly 5,000 gallons of cooking oil from the stadium are recycled into biodiesel. Through the Greener Fields Together program, the Orioles and Delaware North partner with local produce companies to focus on sustainability from seed to fork.
The transportation to Camden Yards -- a light rail and local bus service -- is also eco-friendly, and the O's have added a designated bicycle parking area that houses up to 100 bikes. The Orioles encourage fans to participate in the Go Green program by recycling bottles and cups in the more-than 100 recycling containers located throughout Oriole Park; by walking, biking or taking mass transit to the game; and by using the Passbook paperless ticket option, available on iOS devices.
• Dylan Bundy, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, will take a big step forward in his next bullpen session and throw breaking balls. Bundy has been limited to just changeups and fastballs as he continues to get his elbow strength back.
• Troy Patton was scheduled to pitch the end of an inning Tuesday night for Norfolk and then start a clean inning as the lefty works his way back. Patton is slated to come off the restricted list on April 30.
• Showalter said the team could stay with 13 pitchers on its roster and a three-man bench, particularly when Machado returns.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.