RHP Tyler Wilson was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday. Wilson pitched two scoreless innings in Tuesday’s 9-3 loss at Cincinnati. He was 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in five appearances for Baltimore.
OF Joey Rickard (sprained left middle finger) hit off the tee and threw Wednesday for the first time since being placed on the disabled list. “I hope it starts moving now that we’ve got this step out of the way,” manager Buck Showalter said. He’s eligible to come off the DL today, but Showalter said he’ll need a rehab stint to get some at-bats before being activated.
RHP Zach Britton is feeling better every day, but will undergo an MRI on Friday to assess his strained left forearm. He’s eligible to come off the disabled list on April 26. Britton has five saves in six appearances this season.
LHP Jayson Aquino is a candidate to make a spot start Friday or Saturday. Aquino was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday after going 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in two starts for the Tides. Aquino could be used in long relief on Wednesday or Thursday; if not, though, he’ll get the nod against the Red Sox this weekend at Camden Yards. “We’ll see what develops of the next couple days,” manager Buck Showalter said.
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez had good command of his fastball and breaking pitches in his first two starts of the season but had difficulty putting hitters away. Over those two starts, Jimenez threw 198 pitches in 8 2/3 innings. On Wednesday night at Cincinnati, Jimenez got off to a much better start with an 11-pitch first inning. He had 60 pitches through four innings while allowing only two hits. He then retired 10 of 11 heading into the sixth inning with just 70 pitches. Jimenez rolled into the seventh with 86 pitches, having allowed only two hits with three walks and a pair of strikeouts. “It’s good when you start hitting the zone right away,” Jimenez said. “I needed a start like this. I was able to get on top of the ball and get them to hit ground balls.”
LF Seth Smith is hoping to avoid the disabled list. Smith left Tuesday night’s game with a strained right hamstring. “We’ll see if we can manage it and not put him on the DL,” manager Buck Showalter said. It’s a similar injury to one that caused Smith to miss more than two weeks during spring training. Rookie Trey Mancini started in left field on Wednesday and went 1-for-4.