Zach Britton

Zach Britton mades his first start of 2013 with the Orioles against the Mariners on Monday night. (Otto Greule Jr, Getty Images / April 29, 2013)

As part of Tuesday's roster shuffling, right-hander Steve Johnson (lat strain) was activated from the 15-day disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, where he already was on rehab assignment.

The St. Paul's graduate has been on the 15-day DL since the season began, but he made two rehab starts for the Tides, going 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA in 10 2/3 innings.

Johnson cannot be recalled to the big leagues for at least 10 days unless he is replacing an injured player and therefore is not an option for this weekend's spot start. Regardless, Showalter said he believes Johnson needs several more appearances in the minors to regain his strength and form.

Teagarden sees specialist

Catcher Taylor Teagarden, who dislocated his left thumb Saturday, was examined Tuesday by hand specialist Dr. Brian Schofield and the original diagnosis was confirmed. Teagarden does not need a cast or surgery, but he will be out several weeks.

The initial prognosis, according to Teagarden, was three to four weeks. Showalter wouldn't put an exact timeline on Teagarden's recovery Tuesday, but he said at this point the reserve catcher will not be placed on the 60-day disabled list. Although, Showalter said, that could change because Teagarden will not be ready to return from the thumb injury until he can effectively catch major league pitches.

"We're somewhere close to the timeframe that everybody thought. And it's hard to project until he gets out of the splint. That handicaps it," Showalter said. "I don't think anybody can really project it. I know where the best-case scenario is. And I know where the worst-case scenario is."

Around the horn

The Orioles will need a starter to pitch Saturday against the Angels, but Showalter said it is possible the spot start could come Friday and Friday's scheduled starter, Miguel Gonzalez, could be pushed back to Saturday to get an extra day of rest. Showalter was non-committal about who will make the spot start, but it's likely someone in the minors — Freddy Garcia, Jair Jurrjens or Jake Arrieta — will get the call. … Catcher Chris Snyder, whom the Orioles acquired in a minor league trade Sunday with the Los Angeles Angels, was placed on the 40-man and 25-man rosters Tuesday. He will start his first Orioles game on Friday or Saturday. … Catcher Luis Exposito, who was recalled Sunday when Teagarden was placed on the DL, was designated for assignment Tuesday. The club has 10 days to trade, release or ask waivers on the 26-year-old. Showalter said the Orioles hope Exposito remains in the organization, but the club has contingency plans if he doesn't. … Second baseman Brian Roberts (hamstring) threw from 75 feet and took soft toss on Tuesday as part of his progression back to baseball activities. He has been on the 15-day disabled list since April 5, but Showalter said he is showing enough improvement that moving him to the 60-day disabled list to create more roster space does not appear to be an option. … Luis Ayala, whom the Orioles traded to Atlanta this month, was placed on the Braves' disabled list with an anxiety disorder. … Former Oriole Corey Patterson, who had been out of baseball, signed a minor league deal with the Mariners and was sent to extended spring.

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

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