BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Baltimore Orioles' walking wounded are starting to get healthy, but the physical improvements might not be obvious on the field until early next week.
Right fielder Nick Markakis, who is dealing with neck spasms, was expected to play Sunday, but the injury apparently flared up while he was playing with his kids Thursday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. Markakis will be held out a little longer, but the injury is not considered serious.
"He's still close, but I wouldn't say Sunday," Showalter said. "I'll probably wait a little bit on that one just to be sure."
Markakis said earlier this week that he would play through the discomfort if it were the regular season.
Left fielder Nolan Reimold (right shoulder tightness) threw again Friday and is progressing toward playing in the field, Showalter said. He is scheduled to play Sunday but likely will DH again. He hasn't played in the field since March 1.
Reserve catcher Taylor Teagarden (back) continues to do baseball activities and likely will return to game action Monday, Showalter said.
"I don't feel like I'm that out of shape, because I've only missed five games or so," said Teagarden, who has played in just two games this spring and sat out most of last spring training with back problems. "When you miss months, it can take awhile to get back in the flow of things. It's a spring training environment, so it's not like I have to catch nine innings right out of the gate."
Chen looks solid in win
In his second outing of the spring Friday night, Orioles left-hander Wei-Yin Chen struggled occasionally with his command but continued progressing toward the regular season.
Starting in the Orioles' 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chen allowed one hit and two walks in 21/3 innings. He gave up two runs (one earned) and struck out four. He threw 54 pitches, 33 strikes, hitting between 89 and 91 mph on his fastball, 73 to 75 on his curve and 79 to 82 on his slider -- just slightly below his in-season marks.
"I felt good on my four-seamer and two-seamer (fastballs) today, and it's OK on my changeup. I'm still working on my slider because it's not there yet," Chen said through interpreter Tim Lin. It makes me behind (in) the count all the time, so I should work on that."
The Pirates scored a run against Chen in the first inning that was set up on an error by catcher Jose Gil. The second run scored when reliever Tommy Hunter allowed an RBI single to Pedro Alvarez after Chen left the game in the third.
"I'm definitely on my schedule right now. Spring training is just about, like, adjustments, so I'm still working on that," said Chen, who was 12-11 with a 4.02 ERA in 32 starts as a rookie last year. "There are a lot of things I need to adjust. ... I feel it is going to be a good year for me."
The Orioles, who are 9-2-1 in Grapefruit League games, scored three runs in the fourth for a lead they never relinquished. Jason Pridie and Trayvon Robinson had RBI singles for the Orioles, and Travis Ishikawa had an RBI double. Lew Ford later added his first home run of the spring.
O's complete roster deals
The Orioles announced Friday that they have agreed to one-year contracts for 2013 with the 17 remaining players on their 40-man roster who had zero to three years' service time.
They are: right-handers Jake Arrieta, Zach Clark, Miguel Gonzalez, Steve Johnson, Pedro Strop and Chris Tillman; lefties Mike Belfiore, Zach Britton and T.J. McFarland; catcher Luis Exposito; outfielders L.J. Hoes and Xavier Avery; and infielders Ryan Flaherty, Manny Machado, Yamaico Navarro, Schoop and Danny Valencia.
All players on the 40-man roster are now signed for 2013. Because the 17 players can be unilaterally re-signed by the club, Friday's signings were basically procedural.
Strop's 2nd inning surprises
Pedro Strop, who was primarily a one-inning setup man for the Orioles last year, pitched 12/3 innings Thursday for the Dominican Republic in his country's first World Baseball Classic game.
The length of his outing was met with some surprise and consternation by some in the Orioles organization, which has been diligent in limiting the innings of its other key relievers this spring.
The Orioles do have a tie to the Dominican team: Bullpen coach Bill Castro is acting as the Dominican's pitching coach.
Showalter said he is monitoring the situation.
"He only threw 20 pitches. He got a day off. It was not a stressful first one," Showalter said, before joking: "Not that I'm keeping an eye on it."
Showalter praises Schoop
Orioles infield prospect Jonathan Schoop had a three-run homer and four RBIs for the Netherlands in its surprise WBC victory over Cuba on Friday.
"I think with Jonathan, (playing in the WBC) is nothing but good," Showalter said. "And from an organizational standpoint, a lot of people are seeing what a good player and prospect he is."
Once the Netherlands' tournament play ends, Showalter said the 21-year-old infielder will come to big league camp to get some playing time before being sent back to the minors. He likely will be assigned to Double-A Bowie, where he played last year.
"He will get some reps here, I think, as much for our sake as his," Showalter said. "We miss him here. There's a lot of times I'd love to play him. So at least he's playing."
Around the horn
Top pitching prospects Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman will work back-to-back Saturday night against Boston ... Friday's game featured Alvarez and Flaherty, former teammates at Vanderbilt who are still close friends. ... Orioles ballgirl and ballboy tryouts are at noon today at Camden Yards. Candidates must be 18 or older.
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