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Hardy receives cortisone injection, undergoes MRI on back

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Hardy receives cortisone injection, undergoes MRI on back

Posted on 11 April 2014 by Luke Jones

BALTIMORE — Shortstop J.J. Hardy was not in the lineup as the Orioles began a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, but measures taken on Thursday appear to have the infielder ready to return over the weekend.

Missing six of the last seven games with lower back spasms, Hardy underwent magnetic resonance imaging and received a cortisone injection for his back and was instructed to rest after previously planning to work out at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on the off-day. The 31-year-old returned to the ballpark Friday to take infield and batting practice and expects to be back in the lineup on Saturday, a sentiment shared by manager Buck Showalter.

“I’ve made a bunch of big strides the last couple days,” Hardy said. “I came in today early and took some groundballs and took some swings. It all felt good. I’ll go through a normal day of practice and anticipate being in there tomorrow.”

Showalter added that Hardy was “more available” to come off the bench in the series opener than he was in the final game of the Yankees series. Ryan Flaherty has been filling in at shortstop with rookie Jonathan Schoop handling third base and Steve Lombardozzi playing second.

Hardy said his history of back issues earlier in his career has caused him and the training staff to take a cautious approach in not wanting to come back too soon and risk the back spasms being a recurring issue throughout the season.

“If I don’t play today, that will be six games and I can still play 156,” Hardy said. “That is kind of my goal. Trying to rush it and miss another six games because I tried to come back too early is definitely something I don’t want to do.”

In four games this season, the two-time Gold Glove Award winner is 5-for-15.

Outfielder David Lough was once again out of the lineup on Friday, but he is available off the bench, according to Showalter. He underwent concussion tests in Baltimore on Wednesday before returning to New York for the series finale and being used as a defensive replacement.

It remains uncertain what exactly is causing Lough’s symptoms at different points since mid-March, but Showalter said the organization is confident it is not because of a concussion.

Third baseman Manny Machado is scheduled to have two at-bats in a simulated game in Sarasota on Saturday, an encouraging step in his recovery from offseason knee surgery.

The 21-year-old will not run the bases but will face veteran left-hander Johan Santana at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. Machado has yet to begin sprinting, but his participation in a sim game can’t be viewed as anything but good news.

Machado will be eligible to go on a minor league rehab assignment lasting up to 20 games once he is fully cleared to play, but it remains uncertain when that will happen.

Right-handed pitching prospect Dylan Bundy threw 35 fastballs off a regular mound in Sarasota on Friday as he continues his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery last year.

Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb was scheduled to throw out the first pitch for Friday night’s game.

Here are Friday night’s lineups:

TORONTO
LF Melky Cabrera
2B Maicer Izturis
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
1B Adam Lind
C Dioner Navarro
CF Colby Rasmus
3B Brett Lawrie
SS Ryan Goins

SP Dustin McGowan (0-1, 13.50 ERA)

BALTIMORE
RF Nick Markakis
DH Delmon Young
1B Chris Davis
CF Adam Jones
C Matt Wieters
LF Nelson Cruz
2B Steve Lombardozzi
SS Ryan Flaherty
3B Jonathan Schoop

SP Chris Tillman (1-0, 1.35 ERA)

Follow WNST on Twitter for updates and analysis throughout the evening at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

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Orioles minor league recap – 4/10

Posted on 11 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Here’s what happened down in the Orioles’ farm system on Thursday…

* Henry Urrutia hit two doubles and drove in two runs as Triple-A Norfolk topped Gwinnett in a 7-4 final

* Buck Britton hit two home runs as Double-A Bowie won 6-3 over Akron

* Matt Taylor’s solid five-inning effort was spoiled in Single-A Frederick’s 4-3 loss to Carolina

* 2013 first-round pick Hunter Harvey struck out six in five innings as Single-A Delmarva won 6-4 over Greensboro

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Orioles 9-Game Scorecard (Games 1-9)

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D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction Orioles 9-Game Scorecard (Games 1-9)

Posted on 11 April 2014 by Luke Jones

During the 2014 season, Drew Forrester and Luke Jones of The D&L Window Tinting Morning Reaction will provide the “9-Game Scorecard” for the Orioles, evaluating the club in nine-game increments in a number of categories and looking ahead to how Baltimore will fare over the next nine games on the schedule.

To hear the full explanation of the inaugural “Orioles 9-Game Scorecard” during Friday’s show, click HERE.

1. Should the Orioles have been better or worse than their 4-5 mark?
Drew: Better
Luke: Worse

2. Most Valuable Player/Least Valuable Player
Drew: MVP – Matt Wieters; LVP – Ubaldo Jimenez
Luke: MVP – Matt Wieters; LVP – Ryan Flaherty

3. Biggest surprise
Drew: Chris Davis not having a single home run so far
Luke: The impressive performance of Zach Britton out of the bullpen

4. Best thing about the nine-game stretch
Drew: Tommy Hunter hasn’t experienced any failures in the closer role yet
Luke: Managing a series win in the Bronx to conclude a 3-3 road trip with Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy missing so much time

5. Nine games from now…
Drew: Ubaldo Jimenez will still be struggling
Luke: Ubaldo Jimenez will have two wins under his belt

6. Record in the next nine games
(three with Toronto, three with Tampa Bay, three at Boston)
Drew: 5-4
Luke: 6-3

7. Stock rising/falling over the next 10 games
Drew: Rising – David Lough; Falling – Nick Markakis
Luke: Rising – Chris Davis; Falling – Matt Wieters

8. Grading Buck Showalter in the first 10 games
Drew: B-
Luke: B-

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Orioles minor league recap – 4/9

Posted on 10 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Here’s what happened down in the Orioles’ farm system on Wednesday …

* David Adams hit his first home run as Triple-A Norfolk fell 4-3 to Gwinnett

* Eduardo Rodriguez was roughed up for four earned runs in five innings as Double-A Bowie lost a 5-1 final to Richmond

* Starter Parker Bridwell surrendered six earned runs and 10 hits as Single-A Frederick was routed by Carolina in a 9-2 final

* Drew Dosch drove in two runs to lead Single-A Delmarva to a 5-3 win over Hagerstown

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Orioles choose not to place Lough on 15-day disabled list

Posted on 09 April 2014 by Luke Jones

A day after it looked like outfielder David Lough was on his way to the 15-day disabled list, the Orioles instead received good news about his status for the immediate future.

The 28-year-old traveled to Baltimore on Wednesday for a round of concussion tests after he was dealing with symptoms similar to what he experienced last month in spring training, but he was cleared to return to the club. Manager Buck Showalter suggested Tuesday that Lough would be placed on the disabled list as the Orioles summoned infielder Jemile Weeks from Triple-A Norfolk to meet the club in New York, but Lough was expected to be back at Yankee Stadium for the series finale.

“He had some potential concussion symptoms that we wanted to check out and we did, and we’re completely clear from that, so that was really good news,” Showalter told reporters at Yankee Stadium. “He’s heading back here. We didn’t want to proceed any further until we got that as not being a possibility. That was good news we got today in the afternoon.”

It remains unclear what is causing the symptoms as Lough missed a week of action in mid-March with what was described as a neck injury, but the Orioles tested the left fielder for a possible concussion at the time. Upon returning, Lough went 7-for-19 with two doubles over his final six Grapefruit League games.

Lough is just 2-for-19 on the season after declaring himself completely healthy last week.

“The neck is fine. That is in the past now,” Lough said on April 2. “I get neck stretches on a regular basis. No problems or anything. I’m ready to go.”

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Jemile Weeks prepared to contribute to Orioles in utility role

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Jemile Weeks prepared to contribute to Orioles in utility role

Posted on 09 April 2014 by WNST Audio

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Orioles minor league recap – 4/8

Posted on 09 April 2014 by WNST Staff

Here’s what happened down in the Orioles’ farm system on Tuesday…

* Suk-min Yoon was battered for nine earned runs in 2 1/3 innings in Triple-A Norfolk’s 10-5 loss to Gwinnett

* Oliver Drake earned the win in relief as Double-A Bowie prevailed in a 2-1 final over Richmond

* Branden Kline was the hard-luck losing pitcher in Single-A Frederick’s 7-0 loss to Carolina

* Single-A Delmarva was swept in a doubleheader at the hands of Hagerstown

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Weeks on way to New York as Orioles expected to make DL move

Posted on 09 April 2014 by Luke Jones

The Orioles are expected to make a roster move Wednesday as manager Buck Showalter indicated after Tuesday’s 14-5 win over the New York Yankees that a player will be placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Reports indicate that outfielder David Lough is going to the DL after he didn’t appear in Tuesday’s win. The 28-year-old dealt with a neck injury in mid-March, but it remains unclear whether the same ailment is affecting him again.

Infielder Jemile Weeks is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Norfolk as he traveled to the Bronx ahead of Wednesday’s series finale. Weeks has the ability to play the outfield in a pinch and will provide Showalter an extra infielder as shortstop J.J. Hardy has dealt with lower back spasms, sidelining him for four of the last five games.

Showalter said Tuesday that Hardy was close to returning to the starting lineup, but the Orioles have been forced to use the trio of Ryan Flaherty, Steve Lombardozzi, and rookie Jonathan Schoop in the infield without a bench option in Hardy’s absence.

An official announcement is expected on Wednesday afternoon.

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MLB Network’s Stanton not Orioles’ offseason moves will make difference

Posted on 08 April 2014 by WNST Audio

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Hardy moving closer to return to Orioles lineup

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Hardy moving closer to return to Orioles lineup

Posted on 08 April 2014 by Luke Jones

The Orioles lineup finally broke out in a 14-5 win on Tuesday and received good news about the status of shortstop J.J. Hardy.

Though the 31-year-old was sidelined for the fourth time in five games while dealing with lower back spasms, manager Buck Showalter said prior to Tuesday’s game that Hardy would have been available to come off the bench if necessary. Of course, the convincing win over the New York Yankees made Hardy’s use unnecessary as the Orioles provided more than enough offense to support a shaky outing from starter Wei-Yin Chen.

“A lot better, much more available,” Showalter told reporters of Hardy’s status prior to Tuesday’s win. “I’m optimistic he’d be an option [Tuesday]. We’ll see how the rest of the day goes. I wouldn’t have said that [Monday]. He’s improved, very close to being ready to start. … You can tell just by his face. So that’s good.”

With All-Star third baseman Manny Machado still on the 15-day disabled list while recovering from offseason knee surgery, the Orioles have been without a pair of Gold Glove defenders on the left side of the infield.

Left with a short bench, Showalter has been forced to use Ryan Flaherty, Steve Lombardozzi, and Jonathan Schoop at three infield positions, but the trio combined to go 8-for-15 with four runs scored on Tuesday to ease concerns about the bottom of the order.

With the Orioles scheduled to play a night game Thursday to conclude their three-game set with New York before an off-day, Showalter could elect to keep Hardy on the bench for one more game to be on the safe side before the Orioles return to Camden Yards to begin a six-game homestand.

Chen struggles again

Lost in the offensive explosion occurring in Tuesday’s win was another lackluster effort by Chen, who earned the win despite allowing four earned runs and nine hits in five innings of work.

In two starts, Chen has allowed eight earned runs and 21 hits over 10 2/3 innings. The Taiwanese lefty has yet to issue a walk this season, but he’s often been up in the strike zone while catching too much of the plate.

The Yankees and Red Sox did have their share of hits that weren’t exactly clobbered against Chen — suggesting he’s been unlucky on top of his overall ineffectiveness — but his start to the 2014 season continues a disturbing trend from the end of last season. Over his last nine starts dating back to Aug. 27, 2013, Chen has allowed 72 hits over 46 innings of work while posting a 6.65 earned run average and a 1.85 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched).

Of course, Chen’s track record over the first two-plus seasons of his career suggests he’s much better than what he’s shown recently, but his lack of command within the strike zone has been alarming.

Bats finally wake up

After being held to just 22 runs in their first seven contests, the Orioles plated 14 runs and bashed 20 hits to quell premature panic about the offense. The last time the Orioles collected 20 hits was May 10, 2011.

All nine starters collected at least one hit and all but one (Matt Wieters) had multi-hit games. Wieters, Adam Jones, and Delmon Young each hit home runs to match the Orioles’ total of three long balls in the first seven contests of the year.

Wieters and Young each collected three runs batted in against Yankees pitching.

 

 

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