HOUSTON -- Right-handed reliever Preston Guilmet has been impressive in a short look with Baltimore, turning in scoreless appearances in his first five games.
"He's had some guys [who] didn't know if [he] would play at the big league level," manager Buck Showalter said of Guilmet, who was acquired in a trade with Cleveland earlier this year. "You can see how it would happen. He doesn't throw 100 miles an hour. He [has an] unconventional delivery. They've got a lot of pitching depth there, and they can't protect it all."
Guilmet, who has allowed just one baserunner -- on a walk -- has eight strikeouts over six innings in his third stint with Baltimore this season and has already faced, and shut down, his former club.
"Funniest thing was watching [Nick] Swisher hit off him the other day," Showalter said. "You could see them going over the advance report and talking about it. They are all talking about the split, the split, the split. He threw Swisher three straight fastballs -- strike one, strike two, strike three. On strike three Swisher just looked in the dugout and went, 'Where's the split?' [Guilmet] was talking about it the next day. He said, 'I knew he was looking for it.'"
Guilmet has embraced the clean slate that comes with starting in a new organization and said that his brief time in the big leagues with Cleveland last season helped him be better prepared this time around.
"Obviously, there's a lot of different things going on here at the big league level compared to Triple-A," Guilmet said. "There's a lot of things you can't simulate, and it was good to get up there and see what it's all about and get a taste of it."
Wieters eager to take next big step
HOUSTON -- Catcher Matt Wieters will test his ailing right elbow by playing some light catch on Friday in what could potentially be a big step in his recovery.
Friday's session will mark the first time Wieters has thrown in more than three weeks, and noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews has recommended that he not do anything that aggravates the injury, which was classified as discomfort.
"It's gotten a lot better over the last few days, which is what we were waiting on -- waiting for it all to subside, and it's all gotten out," Wieters said. "Now it's just a matter of going through the throwing progression and hopefully, everything keeps getting better."
Wieters last played in a game on May 10 and has not caught a game since May 4, with the initial hope being that he could just serve as designated hitter until the elbow felt better. When the elbow didn't respond as hoped, he was placed on the disabled list and has received an injection of platelet-rich plasma in the area to help spur healing.
Wieters said on Thursday that the big thing right now is to get back on a throwing program, though he isn't sure what Friday's exact plan would be in terms of distance and quantity. But the All-Star, who is hoping to avoid surgery, is encouraged that he's gotten to this point.
"We always had days [where] we wanted to make sure we were progressing more than anything," he said. "Every time you can take the next step forward, it's good. Picking up the ball is our next step forward now."
Manager Buck Showalter won't try to evaluate what Wieters does on Friday, saying he will just listen to what the catcher and trainers say.
"Hopefully, it starts the process of getting a little bit more and a little bit more and getting to the point," Showalter said. "I think we've given it every opportunity to heal itself, so to speak, or scar over. We're hoping that's the case, but we won't really know until probably his third or fourth session, when he kind of starts stretching out a step. Tomorrow's a step. It wouldn't be anything real strenuous tomorrow, I would think."
Hunter progressing in recovery
HOUSTON -- Reliever Tommy Hunter continues to make progress as he works his way back from a groin strain, and he could be activated from the disabled list on the first day he's eligible, which is June 5.
"[Assistant athletic trainer] Brian [Ebel] is going back [to Baltimore] for his son's graduation, and he's going to pick up Tommy's rehab a little bit there," manager Buck Showalter said on Thursday.
"Tommy's been on flat ground for ... four days. He feels good. I'm going to let Brian kind of handle that, once he gets there, about when he might go pitch some. But that's progressing well. I think it's June 5 or 6. He's got a shot at that."
Hunter is 1-1 with a 6.06 ERA and 11 saves in 19 games.
• Dylan Bundy threw 50 pitches in extended spring training action on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla., as he continues to work his way back from Tommy John surgery.
• Pitcher Edgmer Escalona (inflammation in right shoulder) will start his rehab on Friday.
• Nelson Cruz leads the Majors in homers, with 19, and has set a May club record with 12, passing Jim Gentile (1962) and Eddie Murray (1987). Each hit 11.
• Entering Thursday, the O's led the Majors with a .988 fielding percentage and were tied with the Reds for the fewest errors committed this season (23).
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.