**Join us in the Orange Crush live chat at 7:00 as the Orioles face the Cleveland Indians in the second of a four-game set at Camden Yards**
BALTIMORE — As if an eight-game losing streak and losing 22 of their last 28 games weren’t enough, the Orioles received bad news in regards to Vladimir Guerrero’s injured right hand prior to tonight’s game against the Cleveland Indians.
A second x-ray revealed a “small crack” on the hand below the pinkie and the 36-year-old designated hitter is again out of the lineup as the Orioles hope to snap out of a month-long stretch of abysmal baseball. Guerrero attempted to take batting practice on Friday afternoon, but the session did not go well, according to manager Buck Showalter.
“There comes a decision now how long we can or will wait,” Showalter said. “Depending on the severity of it and the pain, guys have played with [it]. It’s not the possibility of hurting it anymore or what have you; just a matter of when the discomfort goes away — if it does.”
While Guerrero’s lack of power (seven home runs and a .385 slugging percentage) has been disappointing, this latest development may dim the chances of moving Guerrero before the Aug. 31 waiver deadline. The future Hall of Fame slugger was an unlikely candidate to be dealt by July 31 even before the injury occurred in Boston on Sunday.
Should Guerrero need to go on the disabled list, Showalter said Luke Scott would likely assume the designated hitter spot when he returns from the disabled list. He is eligible to return on Tuesday, but the Orioles would like to get him some at-bats in a brief rehab assignment before activating the left-handed hitter.
Matt Wieters will hit in the cleanup spot for the second consecutive night and Nolan Reimold will assume Guerrero’s designated hitter position in the lineup, batting seventh. Showalter would like to see someone bring more production to the No. 4 spot in the order, and it appears the Orioles’ All-Star catcher is getting the first crack at it.
“You’d love to see somebody take it and run with it,” Showalter said.
To hear more from Showalter, visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here.
Here are tonight’s starting lineups:
LF Michael Bradley
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
DH Travis Hafner
C Carlos Santana
CF Grady Sizemore
2B Orlando Cabrera
RF Travis Buck
1B Matt LaPorta
3B Lonnie Chisenhall
SP Josh Tomlin (10-4, 3.81 ERA)
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
1B Derrek Lee
3B Mark Reynolds
DH Nolan Reimold
LF Felix Pie
2B Robert Andino
SP Jake Arrieta (9-6, 4.90 ERA)
As we do for every weeknight home game, join us in the Orange Crush live chat beginning at 7:00. Talk about the game with us as an array of WNST.net personalities visit the cyber sports bar throughout the evening! Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@WNST) for the latest updates and analysis regarding the happenings from Oriole Park at Camden Yards!