O's prospect Johnson shut down with lat strain

O's prospect Johnson shut down with lat strain

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles pitcher Steve Johnson has been shut down with a strained right latissimus dorsi muscle and he could potentially start the season on the disabled list.

Johnson, the Orioles' No. 14 prospect, is not expected to pitch again this spring, and he said prior to Wednesday night's game that the issue first crept up in the bullpen session he threw in advance of Friday's start.

"I tried throwing [Tuesday]," Johnson said. "Tried taking a couple days off and rest and see how it felt and try to get back into things, but whatever's there is still bothering me. Just taking it day by day and see what happens."

Given how late it is in camp, the injury means Johnson won't head north with the Orioles, although it remains to be seen whether he would stay in Sarasota and rehab.

"Let's just see the next couple days," manager Buck Showalter said of Johnson. "We are going to all sit down after [batting practice] and see where we are."

Johnson was supposed to start on Thursday, and now it will be a combination of a couple different guys, probably some from Minor League camp. The 25-year-old righty said if this were the regular season he could pitch, but the team wants to get in front of the injury, so it's not an issue that creeps back up.

"Hopefully it's a short period of time," Johnson said. "I don't want to miss any time, so as soon as I can get back to throwing without feeling anything, I'm going to try to get back as quick as possible."

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.