5/29/2014 12:45 A.M. ET
Orioles targeting mid-June for Johan's debut
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Assuming he does not exercise his opt-out clause, Johan Santana will pitch one more time in extended spring training and could be an option for the Orioles rotation by mid-June.
The plan is for Santana, signed to a Minor League deal this spring, to get around 85 pitches on Monday and then pitch for the team's Triple-A affiliate on June 8 and Double-A on the 13th.
"He has got to approve it, they have to approve it, so we're not there yet, but that's tentatively," manager Buck Showalter said of the plan for Santana if he stays in the organization. "So you are talking about the 18th or 19th, that's five days after the last outing. You talk to [athletic trainer] Chris Correnti, who has been with him the whole time, on what he's recommending. But they have to go along with it."
Santana, who has a June 1 opt-out in his contract, would ideally be up to six innings after the pair of Minor League starts. The two-time Cy Young Award winner signed an incentives-based deal with the O's in Spring Training and other clubs have been monitoring that situation as Santana gets closer and closer.
"If these three options work out, he'd be an option for us," Showalter said of an Orioles rotation that has just one starter, Bud Norris, with an ERA under 4.30. "It's one thing being able to get through it, it's another thing have people evaluate whether it will work up here."
Wieters to test elbow with light catch Friday
MILWAUKEE -- Orioles catcher Matt Wieters will try to play light catch on Friday, testing his right elbow for the first time since he was shut down from throwing by Dr. James Andrews three weeks ago.
Wieters, who is currently on the disabled list, last played in a game on May 10. He has not caught a game since May 4, with the initial hope being that he could serve as designated hitter. Since his elbow didn't respond as hoped while serving at DH, Wieters was placed on the DL and has rested and gotten a platelet-rich plasma injection in the area to help spur healing.
Without Wieters, the Orioles traded for catcher Nick Hundley on Saturday and currently have Caleb Joseph as their backup, optioning Steve Clevenger to Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday.
Showalter downplays Samardzija rumors
MILWAUKEE -- Despite the rumor mill kicking into high gear on Tuesday night, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Wednesday that he has yet to hear Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija's name come up in discussions with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette.
CBS Chicago reported that the Orioles are an early favorite for Samardzija's services, with the Trade Deadline more than two months away. The fit obviously makes sense, given the O's pitching woes. The Cubs are said to be scouting Baltimore's impressive group of young arms that includes Dylan Bundy, Eduardo Rodriguez and last year's top Draft pick, Hunter Harvey.
"Dan's MO is he does all the work and everything," Showalter said, "And when it comes down to something that could be a possibility, we sit down, the coaching staff and everything, and we talk about it."
The 29-year-old Samardzija is under team control through the 2015 season and he entered Wednesday with the second-lowest ERA in baseball at 1.68.
Machado to hold charity bowling tournament
MILWAUKEE -- Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will host the inaugural Manny Machado Celebrity BaseBOWL Tournament on Thursday, June 26, at Mustang Alley from 4-7 p.m to benefit Baltimore City Recreation and Parks' Play Baseball summer program.
"I couldn't be more excited to host this event and give back to the Baltimore community," said Machado. "Having the opportunity to be involved with a great organization like the Baltimore City Foundation is huge. I'm excited for it and I know my teammates will be looking forward to it as well.
"Baltimore is a baseball town and our Play Baseball League is essential to keeping kids active and creating lifelong fans of the sport," said director of Baltimore City Recreation and Parks Ernest Burkeen. "We are glad to have Manny's support for this program and look forward to a long and positive relationship."
This event will consist of two games at seven frames each, made up with teams of five bowlers. Each team will be paired up with a celebrity participant. Several athletes from the local sports community are expected to be attendance. A silent auction featuring signed sports memorabilia and other unique items will be available for bidding throughout the event.
Sponsorships range from $5,000 to $25,000 with all proceeds benefitting the Baltimore City Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization which supports Baltimore City Recreation and Parks' Play Baseball summer program for children ages 9-12. For more information regarding sponsorships, please contact Kimberly Crossett at 310-525-3755 or via email at email@example.com
• Nelson Cruz was removed in the ninth inning of Tuesday night's game for what was assumed to be a defensive replacement with David Lough. But Cruz was actually dealing with some right calf tightness that crept up. Showalter said Cruz was 100 percent Wednesday and was glad the veteran brought the issue to his attention and they got out in front of it. Cruz hit his Major League-leading 18th homer in the second inning on Wednesday.
• Bundy is slated to throw three innings in extended spring on Thursday, 45 pitches, with Edgmer Escalona (right shoulder inflammation) on his way to Triple-A Norfolk to start a rehab assignment.
• The O's made some roster transactions Wednesday, including outrighting Evan Meek to Triple-A Norfolk and trading Johnny Monnell to the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash considerations. Meek can reject the assignment and become a free agent. The Orioles now have 39 players on their 40-man roster with the Meek move.
• Outfielder Francisco Peguero is dealing with some hamstring tightness and it looks like he will stay on the disabled list for now. Peguero, who has been sidelined with a wrist injury, went back to Baltimore Wednesday to be looked at by the team doctors.
• Showalter said there is nothing imminent on outfielder Nolan Reimold (neck), who continues to play in extended spring games.
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.