BOSTON - Orioles manager Buck Showalter indicated today that reliever Darren O’Day could join the team in Boston before Wednesday night’s game against the Red Sox.
O’Day threw all of his pitches off a mound this morning in Sarasota. If his hand responds favorably, he could grab a flight to Boston.
O’Day received another injection to reduce the inflammation that was causing discomfort and tingling in the index and middle fingers on his right hand. There are still small traces of it, but his condition has improved to the point where the Orioles envision him jumping back into their bullpen during their current series.
“He’s still got just a little bit of soreness from the actual injections, so he seems to be making progress,” Showalter said. “Get the inflammation out of there and the nerve is no longer compressed.”
Asked if O’Day could be on a flight Thursday, Showalter said, “Thursday? Thursday? He could be on one Thursday. He could be on one Wednesday, too. We’re not going to waste any bullets down there.
“There are a lot of direct flights from Tampa to Boston.”
Miguel Gonzalez played catch today and is still experiencing some soreness in his right groin. He may attempt to throw a bullpen session on Thursday, but Showalter said Gonzalez will miss “at least one start.”
“He’s got some soreness there, like we thought he would,” Showalter said, adding that the bullpen session is “kind of up in the air.”
Jason Hammel will start Friday night’s series opener against the Rays at Tropicana Field.
Bud Norris had a side session earlier today and his right elbow is improved, making him a candidate to start Saturday afternoon against the Rays. If Norris can’t go, Showalter said he’s considering five or six options, including Zach Britton and Tsuyoshi Wada, who will pitch simulated games Wednesday in Sarasota. Kevin Gausman also is a consideration, and Steve Johnson and Josh Stinson figure to be in the mix.
Henry Urrutia remains in Sarasota, and he’s playing the outfield in instructional league games.
Showalter said Urrutia could return to the Orioles if he’s needed, but he’s receiving valuable instruction in Sarasota and getting regular at-bats that aren’t available in the majors.