BALTIMORE – The Orioles open up a four game set against the Chicago White Sox on Monday as Jeremy Guthrie takes the mound against John Danks.
The good news for the Birds, and they sure needed a bit of positive news, is that J.J. Hardy is back in the lineup batting leadoff and playing shortstop. Hardy arrived at the ballpark and declared himself good to go for Monday’s game.
“I went outside and tested it, doing all the things that hurt me in Kansas City, and it felt fine,” Hardy said.
Hardy is looking forward to rebounding from what many consider to be one of his worst stretches as an Oriole.
“It was a rough road-trip depending on how you look at it,” Hardy said. “I know I only got eight hits but they were good hits. Something I already forgot about, thanks for reminding me, but I feel like it will be good to get back in there. Glad it was only three days.”
The O’s other main injury concern, Chris Davis, was in good spirits today as he seems eager to get back on the field and show the O’s brass what he can do. While not in the lineup on Monday, it seems likely that Davis will return by Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest.
“I feel good today,” Davis said. “I feel like I could have played today. I’m going to take BP and I’m going to hit in the cage. I think they’re just being cautious, like I said yesterday. I haven’t done anything in the last couple of days so I’ll do some stuff today and see how I’m going to feel, see if I’m going to be sore. I’m going to go take some BP and try to hit some balls on Eutaw Street, so it will be fun.”
Davis was asked if he tried to coax his way into the lineup for the series opener.
“I’ve tried,” Davis said. “I literally actually put my name in the lineup before anyone else did, and when I came back it said I was pitching so I moved it back out of the lineup. I would love to pitch, but I just don’t want to subject these guys to that.”
Cesar Izturis left Sunday’s game with a groin injury. Buck Showalter said that Izturis felt worse Monday than he did on Sunday, adding that it “doesn’t sound good right now.”
From hearing Buck, I think another DL stint for Izturis is highly likely.
Jo-Jo a go
Buck Showalter confirmed Monday that Jo-Jo Reyes will start Tuesday’s game. Showalter made it a point to stress how important it was for Reyes to take advantage of this opportunity, implying that Zach Britton will be back soon which could put Reyes’ brief rotation spot in jeopardy if he fails to pitch well for the Birds.
Speaking of Zach Britton, Showalter confirmed with reporters that with his stint in the minors, his abbreviated outings against the Yankees and Red Sox, and now his DL stint, there is now no need to think about shutting Britton down early in an attempt to limit his innings. At this point, when Britton returns, he’ll be back for good, assuming good health and performance.
Here are tonight’s lineups: