The Orioles on the disabled list are on the mend and will soon be returning. Outfielder Joey Rickard is expected to be back on Friday. That same day will see closer Zach Britton pitching in a minor league game with the possibility of being activated by the Orioles on Sunday. Manager Buck Showalter provided the updates before Tuesday’s game against the Rays.
Rickard’s activation will set off a bit of a roster crunch for the Orioles, as Camden Chat’s Tyler Young wrote earlier today. Orioles reporters who heard Showalter’s remarks indicated that Rickard may be activated and then immediately optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, though Showalter also said he hopes to find room for Rickard.
For Tuesday night, Rickard is down in Salisbury to play another rehab game for the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds. He has been on the disabled list since April 9 due to a left middle finger sprain.
Britton’s weekend rehab will be preceded by a side session on Wednesday. If all goes well with that, then he is expected to do a little rehab outing with either Bowie or Frederick on Friday. He is eligible to come off of the disabled list on Wednesday and will miss that by a few days.
Orioles starter Chris Tillman is still on the mend as well. Tillman remains on track to toss his next rehab start on Thursday for High-A Frederick.
Although Tillman would be on regular rest to start on May 2, when the Orioles will need the fifth starter spot, it’s not yet a sure thing that Tillman will be ready to make that start. Since his injury kept him out of action for all of spring training, the rehab starts through April are important to serve the function of what March Grapefruit League outings would have done.
The Orioles have gotten along alright without these players, as they’ve managed to accumulate the best record in MLB to start the season. They’re an even better team still with healthy and effective versions of Britton and Tillman in particular, so hopefully they’re back in good health and looking like their best selves again soon.