Buck checks up on Johnson's rehab game
Right-hander getting close to return to Orioles' bullpen
BALTIMORE -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter liked what he saw Saturday night after taking a quick trip to Bowie, Md., to watch right-hander Jim Johnson pitch on a rehab assignment.
Showalter got down to Bowie, about 30 minutes from Camden Yards, after the Orioles beat Texas in their late afternoon game on Saturday. He watched Johnson throw for a second consecutive day and give up one run on one hit in one inning.
Johnson is on the 60-day disabled list, dating back to May 28, with elbow inflammation. He was expected to be the team's setup man once again, but the Orioles lost both Johnson and closer Michael Gonzalez early in the season, which crushed the bullpen.
"He throws good," Showalter said. "He's getting close. That was his first back-to-back outing, so that's one of the reasons why I wanted to see it. It was good."
Showalter said the Orioles will see how Johnson feels Sunday. He is scheduled to throw next in the middle of the week. If everything goes well, they have to decide when to bring him back.
"The question is whether you bring him up before Sept. 1 or not," Showalter said. "It was good to see him. He certainly looks the part -- good-looking pitcher."
Berken goes for second opinion on shoulder
BALTIMORE -- Right-hander Jason Berken is seeking a second opinion on his injured throwing shoulder this week.
Berken will see Dr. David Altchek in New York on Tuesday. The Orioles placed Berken on the 15-day disabled list last week, retroactive to Aug. 13, after an MRI on Monday showed a slight tear in his labrum along with rotator cuff inflammation.
"Based on what the doctors here told me, it's just a matter of how the shoulder reacts to the rest," Berken said. "Hopefully [this doctor] says the same thing, [and] there's no need for surgery. That's what we're always shooting for."
Berken has been through that before, as he underwent Tommy John surgery while pitching at Clemson.
Right now, Berken said that resting his shoulder is the most important thing. It's looking more and more like his season might be finished.
This was Berken's first season out of the bullpen, and he's 3-3 with a 3.03 ERA in 41 games. He pitched well in the first half of the season before struggling in recent games.
He allowed 13 runs in his last 17 1/3 innings after giving up only eight earned runs in his first 45 innings.
Day off for Jones means time to sleep in
BALTIMORE -- Adam Jones got a rare day off Sunday, as manager Buck Showalter left him out of the starting lineup with some specific instructions.
"I told him after the game last night I didn't want to see him walk in here before 12:30 [for a 1:35 p.m. game]," Showalter said. "He plays hard. He plays all out."
Jones has played in 122 of the team's 124 games. He started slowly this season, but has improved as the year has gone on. He has a .275 average with 17 homers and 52 RBIs.
Showalter said he could use him off the bench in this game, but that he would feel better if Jones could just have a full day off.
The timing of that would be helpful since the Orioles won't play again until Tuesday night in Chicago against the White Sox.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.