Orioles’ concerns growing over Scott’s injured shoulder

July 19, 2011 | Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Despite completing two rehab starts for Double-A Bowie, outfielder/designated hitter Luke Scott will not be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday as was previously hoped.

And judging from comments made by the left-handed slugger and manager Buck Showalter, surgery on Scott’s torn labrum in his right shoulder appears more and more likely. Despite nearly two weeks of rest in which he didn’t swing a bat or lift any weights, Scott did not appear to be encouraged with the health of his shoulder, claiming “it is what it is.” Scott told Showalter the shoulder is at 70 percent right now.

The tentative plan is for Scott to take a day or two to rest before potentially playing in a couple more minor league rehab games.

“It’s just been a challenge to deal with,” Scott said. “I took 13 days completely off, not doing anything, and it’s only just two days of rehab at-bats. I’m trying to build it up some more. … If I’m not 100-percent ready or if I’m not in a position where I’m really going to step in and help the team, I need to take the necessary means to get to that point.”

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Showalter said the decision for Scott to either undergo surgery or shut down the shoulder for a rehabilitation program will ultimately be up to the player. However, the Orioles manager also mentioned the timetable for recovery is getting tight for Scott to be ready for the start of next season if he elects to rehab the injury like Jason Berken did last season.

Whatever the route Scott ultimately chooses — surgery or a rehabilitation program — it’s appearing more likely that his playing days are numbered in 2011. With Scott making $6.4 million this season and facing arbitration (eligible for free agency following the 2012 season), the wise choice would be to take care of the injured shoulder sooner rather than later.

In other news, the Orioles have activated Alfredo Simon from the restricted list, and he is scheduled to make Friday’s start as previously hoped. Third baseman Josh Bell has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after a one-day stay in Baltimore, and Brian Roberts has been shifted to the 60-day disabled list to clear a 40-man roster spot for the returning Simon.

The Orioles also completed a minor-league trade, sending veteran infielder Nick Green and cash considerations to the Texas Rangers for left-handed relief pitcher Zach Phillips. Showalter received a favorable report from pitching coach Rick Adair and former pitching coach Mark Connor regarding the 24-year-old, who had a 4.43 earned run average in 33 appeances for Triple-A Round Rock.

Oft-injured minor league pitcher Chorye Spoone has been designated for assignment to clear room on the 40-man roster for Phillips.

Infielder Cesar Izturis is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment on Friday as he moves closer to returning to the Orioles.

And everybody’s favorite starting pitcher, Justin Duchscherer, has received a recommendation from the doctor who performed his previous hip surgery to undergo another procedure.

To hear more from Showalter and Scott, visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault right here.

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