Steve Johnson getting closer to return

Steve Johnson getting closer to return
April 18, 2013, 5:15 pm
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BALTIMORE – Steve Johnson is getting closer to a return. He’s been on the 15-day disabled list since March 23 with a back injury, and on Thursday, he pitched four innings and threw 70 pitches in an extended spring training game in Fort Myers, Fla.

Johnson was hit by a line drive in the thigh, but continued to pitch, manager Buck Showalter said. If there are no complications, Johnson will pitch for one of the affiliates in a rehab start next week.

Tsuyoshi Wada threw three innings and 45 pitches. If he feels well, he’ll throw four innings and 60 pitches in his next start on Tuesday. He’ll probably begin a rehab assignment around May 1 about a year after his Tommy John surgery.

Showalter spoke with Brian Roberts, who’s rehabbing his right hamstring in Sarasota. Roberts did some fast walking on a treadmill in a pool, Showalter said.

“That’s making some improvement. Feeling better every day,” he said.

Roberts is eligible to return on Saturday, but won’t be able to.

Henry Urrutia is traveling to join Bowie for its game at Akron on Friday. He’ll play left and right field, Showalter said. The Baysox put infielder Zelous Wheeler on the disabled list to make room for Urrutia.

Showalter has heard nothing new about Wilson Betemit, who’s on the 60-day disabled list after right knee surgery. He’s hoping Betemit will return late next month.