**Join us in the Orange Crush live chat at 7:00 as the Orioles welcome the surging Los Angeles Angels to town for a three-game set**
BALTIMORE — With Vladimir Guerrero still sidelined with a broken hand and fresh off a two-homer performance in Double-A Bowie, Luke Scott will take a final chance to see how his injured right shoulder responds after a stint on the disabled list.
The Orioles have reinstated Scott — who will occupy the designated hitter spot and hit sixth — and optioned outfielder Matt Angle to Triple-A Norfolk prior to the start of a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels. The plan is for Scott to play the next three to five days to gauge whether he can be productive with the torn labrum in his right shoulder that’s hindered him most of the season.
If Scott feels he is not being productive enough to help the team, he will elect to have season-ending surgery or go the rehabilitation route that reliever Jason Berken chose when he had his own slap tear in his pitching shoulder. The Opening Day left fielder says the shoulder doesn’t affect his throwing as much as when he’s at the plate. Unlike Tommy John surgery, which has a very high success rate, labrum surgery is a bit trickier depending on the location and severity of the tear.
“There’s hit and miss. Some guys take to surgery well, and some guys don’t,” said Scott, who mentioned shortstop J.J. Hardy’s slow response to shoulder surgery in 2004. “If I choose this path, if I choose to do surgery, what are the pluses and minuses? OK, I’ll be ready to go in six months, but will I be back to myself?”
Scott will get his first opportunity to gauge what he can do against Angels starter Ervin Santana, who has not won a road start since April 29 against Tampa Bay. However, the right-hander has now allowed more than three runs in any of his last six starts.
In other injury-related news, infielder Cesar Izturis played five innings in Sarasota Friday and will play for Double-A Bowie on Saturday and Sunday. He could be activated as early as Tuesday when the Orioles travel to Toronto.
Brian Roberts experienced a migraine Friday and did not participate in any baseball-related activity.
Manager Buck Showalter was asked about Brian Matusz’s disappointing start for Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday, and the skipper labeled it with the ever popular “It kind of is what it is.” Showalter did indicate that Tides pitching coach Mike Griffin was a little more positive than the statistics indicated.
“It wasn’t what Brian is capable of [doing],” Showalter said. “It looked like the arrow was pointing up a little bit each outing, and that one was a little bit of a setback for him. Nothing he can’t get back on his feet with real quickly.”
Visit the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault to hear more from Luke Scott and Buck Showalter prior to the start of Friday’s game against the Angels.
Here are tonight’s starting lineups:
2B Maicer Izturis
RF Torii Hunter
DH Bobby Abreu
LF Vernon Wells
3B Alberto Callaspo
SS Erick Aybar
1B Mark Trumbo
CF Mike Trout
C Jeff Mathis
SP Ervin Santana (4-8, 3.84 ERA)
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Nick Markakis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
1B Derrek Lee
DH Luke Scott
3B Mark Reynolds
LF Felix Pie
2B Blake Davis
SP Alfredo Simon (2-2, 4.36 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!