BALTIMORE -- Orioles designated hitter Jim Thome (herniated disk in neck) isn't progressing as quickly as hoped, and could get a second epidural injection.
"Not a setback," manager Buck Showalter said of Thome, who tried swinging at the team's spring complex in Sarasota, Fla. "He just feels some weakness in his lat a little bit, which tells you he's probably not inflammation free. He felt real good at home, but the only way to find out where he was is start doing the action he is being asked to do."
Thome was placed on the disabled list on July 31, retroactive to the 28th, and had his first epidural injection in California on Aug. 3. He reported to Sarasota earlier this week, and there's no timetable for his return right now, although a second shot would push him back a few weeks.
Wilson Betemit (right wrist) is expected to head north to avoid the storm coming into Florida, and will either be with the Orioles or Double-A Bowie to get some swings outside. Betemit isn't expected to go out on a rehab assignment until Tuesday or Wednesday.
Troy Patton could pick up a ball for the first time since hitting the disabled list on Tuesday or Wednesday, according to Showalter. Patton has been progressing slower than initially expected from a right ankle sprain.
Orioles supremely confident when Johnson has ball
BALTIMORE -- How much faith do the Orioles have in closer Jim Johnson, who entered Saturday tied for the Major League-lead with 39 saves? Setup man Pedro Strop puts it best.
"When he's jogging to the mound," Strop said, "we are thinking that the game is over."
So are opponents. Johnson is on pace for 51 saves, which would smash the O's current single-season record (45) set by Randy Myers in 1997, and the right-hander has retired the side in order in eight of his last 10 outings. In those 10 appearances, Johnson has recorded nine saves, allowing just three runners into scoring position, with three hits and a walk against eight strikeouts.
"Last year, what I learned was how to pace yourself the entire year and how to try to stay healthy," said Johnson, who is in his first full-season as the Orioles closer. "I feel like I'm right where I need to be. We talked about in Spring Training, targeting August 15. You work toward August 15. It's kind of where you want to peak, and then you work toward getting to the finish line."
Johnson, who has always been eager to avoid the media spotlight, hasn't concnered himself much with the prospect of the Orioles' single-season saves record. The 29-year-old points out that saves are a product of a team that plays close games, and he's simply doing his job when called upon. Still, the O's have won 12 consecutive one-run games -- tying a franchise record -- and Johnson is a huge reason why Baltimore is 44-18 in games decided by two or fewer runs.
"There's a lot of weird stats out there like, when they talk about how [bad] of a team we should be according to these stats," Johnson said, referring to -- among other things -- the team's negative run differential. "Well, we don't care."
The Orioles officially inducted Mike Mussina and Rich Dauer into the organization's Hall of Fame with a pregame ceremony on Saturday. Longtime Orioles scout Walter Youse was also inducted posthumously as this year's Herb Armstrong Award winner.
Chris Davis hit his third career Eutaw Street home run Friday, and the ninth ball to land there this year, the most in one season in Camden Yards history, topping the eight hit in 2008. Of the 66 homers to land on Eutaw Street, it was the 28th by an Oriole.
Despite playing just 124 games, the Orioles have made 138 roster moves this year since setting their Opening Day roster (40-man and 25-man roster included). The Birds have optioned 31 players, recalled 27, placed 19 on the 15-day disabled list, selected the contract of 15, designated 14 for assignment, reinstated 10 from the DL, placed nine on the 60-day DL, lost three on waivers, outrighted four, traded for four, claimed one on waivers and had one take paternity leave.
The Orioles need starters for Wednesday and Thursday with Zach Britton eligible to make either one of those. Another option? Jake Arrieta, who Showalter said had been throwing better down in Triple-A Norfolk. Arrieta's next scheduled start in Triple-A is Tuesday.
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.