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Orioles don't make any bullpen moves ... yet

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Orioles don't make any bullpen moves ... yet

BALTIMORE -- For the moment, the Orioles aren’t making any bullpen moves. Manager Buck Showalter spoke with pitching coach Dave Wallace after Thursday’s doubleheader about the relievers, each of whom pitched in the games.

“Everybody is available down there. There are some we’d rather not pitch. I think the challenge is going to be after today’s game,” Showalter said.

The Orioles brought Norfolk left-hander Cesar Cabral to Baltimore to be available in case he needed to be activated between games of Thursday’s doubleheader. He remains an option to be recalled if needed.

With both Alejandro De Aza and Ryan Lavarnway designated for assignment this week, there are two open roster spots on the 40-man.

One reliever, Wesley Wright, who is on the 60-day disabled list with a left shoulder injury, is eligible to be activated on June 11, which could be in the midst of Brian Matusz’s suspension.

Showalter said that there was no rush to get Wright back because Brad Brach and Oliver Drake are effective against left-handed hitters.

NOTES: Showalter was going to speak with Bud Norris on Friday about his next step. Norris, who is on the 15-day disabled list with bronchitis, pitched his second rehab game on Wednesday for Bowie. …Jonathan Schoop (right knee) is getting closer to playing in rehab games in Sarasota, Fla. He’s working with minor league infield coordinator Kevin Bradshaw.

MORE ORIOLES: Showalter insists he doesn't want to see gnome

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Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

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Orioles' Manny Machado leading all American League shortstops in All-Star Game votes

The Orioles' Manny Machado is the early leader among American League shortstops in the first results of All-Star voting released by Major League Baseball Tuesday.

Machado holds a lead of 110,131 votes over the Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor. 

No other Orioles' player is on the list, and Adam Jones isn't listed among the top-15 of outfielders. 

The Astros' Carlos Correa was last year’s starting shortstop for the American League, but is in fourth place with 206,707 votes, trailing the Yankees' Didi Gregorius who has 208,583.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 19.

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Zach Britton rejoins Orioles after stint on disabled list

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Zach Britton rejoins Orioles after stint on disabled list

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Orioles left-hander Zach Britton has been activated from the disabled list, six months after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Assuming he's finally healthy enough to resume his role as one of the best closers in the big leagues, the question now is: How long will Britton be with the Orioles?

Britton's contract expires after this season, and Baltimore entered play Monday with the worst record in the major leagues (19-45).

So, as he stood in front of his locker and spoke excitedly about his return to the Orioles, Britton conceded that his stay in Baltimore may not extend beyond the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

"I want to pitch well and help the team, regardless of our standing or trade discussions," he said.

Asked if the next few weeks might serve as an audition for other teams, Britton replied, "I guess so, but I'm not going to think of it like that."

Britton made the 2016 AL All-Star team during a season in which he converted all 47 of his save opportunities and compiled a 0.54 ERA in 69 appearances.

He fought forearm and knee injuries last season and had only 15 saves. Then, during the winter, he tore his right Achilles tendon during a workout.

"When I injured myself in December, I was just looking forward to walking again and running again and then to be able to pitch back in the big leagues," Britton said. "There were a lot of hurdles that I overcame."

Surgery and an intense rehab program under Orioles trainer Brian Ebel enabled the 30-year-old to return sooner than many anticipated.

"The thought that he's a pitcher for us on June 11, that's remarkable," manager Buck Showalter said. "He's checked every box to get ready. I don't know what else you could possibly do."

Although Britton will be pitching for a team that's struggled mightily this season, that won't influence the intensity he will bring to the mound.

"I had some injuries the last few years, so I'm looking forward to turning the page on that and just getting back to pitching well," he said. "Everyone in this clubhouse wants to do well at this level, and that's my focus."

To adjust the roster for Britton's return, the Orioles placed right-hander Pedro Araujo on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow strain and moved outfielder Colby Rasmus to the 60-day DL.