After cortisone shot, Tillman set for long toss

Showalter says Orioles expect righty to return in late April

After cortisone shot, Tillman set for long toss

TAMPA, Fla. -- Manager Buck Showalter said that right-handed starter Chris Tillman, who had a cortisone shot in his right shoulder last Wednesday, will begin long tossing on Wednesday and should toss again on Friday.

Tillman, 28, who hasn't pitched in Spring Training, won't be ready to start the season for the Orioles, but Showalter has mapped out a rehab plan that includes five starts.

"We've got it mapped out through the end of April if it goes well, but he could have one day that could change all that," Showalter said. "I feel good about this structurally."

With Tillman out to start the season, Showalter hasn't decided whether to carry 11 pitchers and 14 position players. The Orioles will have an organizational meeting Wednesday to discuss roster plans.

Those plans were complicated when Tillman couldn't even begin his planned bullpen session last Sunday.

"I've been planning since Chris had some trouble last time," Showalter said. "I wasn't counting on him, anyway. All my plans have been without him there for April."

"It's frustrating for him, especially when you're talking about a guy who's been an Opening Day starter for us. He knows what he means to the club. Never have I had a feeling that anything's crept in there as far as his [free-agent] status at the start of the season," Showalter said.

"We feel confident that he'll take the right steps [so] that he'll be able to take the ball in April until the end of the season, whenever that may be."

Worth noting

• Outfielder Seth Smith, who hasn't played since March 8 with a strained right hamstring, should be ready to play early next week.

• Infielder Ryan Flaherty, who had a cortisone shot on his right shoulder, is expected to play Monday in Fort Myers against Boston.

Rich Dubroff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.