The Orioles are off today. They’re also off on Thursday and again next Monday.
They’ll pay a heavy price for these unnecessary early-season breaks later in the summer.
“We’ve got another one around the corner, too, which is crazy,” said manager Buck Showalter. “You go 20 days and then you have three in 10. I mean ...”
We get it.
On the plus side, these off days provide rest for the bullpen and mean fewer games missed by first baseman Chris Davis, who’s on the disabled list with a strained left oblique.
Showalter won’t offer details on the MRI, but it’s safe to assume that Davis has a Grade 2 or “partial” strain of the oblique muscle. There are three types - mild, partial and full, which is related to the amount of muscle/tissue fiber damaged - and Showalter confirmed that Davis’ isn’t the worst.
“Some Grade 1s are closer to 2 and some Grade 2s are closer to a 3, such as (Wilson) Betemit, all depending on the amount of fiber damage,” said Gene Shirokobrod, a doctor of physical therapy and certified orthopedic manual therapist based in Clarksville. “Everything up to a Grade 3 can typically be treated via rehab and time. Grade 3 is a full tear and will need surgery if full function of that muscle is needed.
“The obliques are very interesting and encompassing muscles. You have external and internal obliques on each side. Their main job, just like the rectus abdominis (six-pack muscle) is to keep your internal organs from vacating your body every time you breathe or move. When contracting unilaterally, they side bend the trunk and rotate it to the side of the muscle. The left external oblique will bend the trunk to the left and rotate it to the right.
“As you can image, a left-handed hitter who constantly bends the trunk to the left and rotates it to the right is susceptible to a left, most likely, external oblique problem. The big question is why it happens.”
Davis is frustrated and confused by the injury, but he’s remained in good spirits. His sense of humor isn’t hurting.
Davis gave reporters stationed at his locker Friday night a playful gesture as he entered the clubhouse - we noticed that it didn’t cause him any pain on his left side - and later quipped about the number of weeks he would miss reaching the 60s. He made up a new injury on Saturday as he passed me in the hallway, the nature of it so absurd that I had to laugh. He also gave a fake chuckle when looking at a lineup that didn’t include his name.
Fans rip Adam Jones for dropping a fly ball while blowing a bubble. He dropped one yesterday without the bubble, and some fans ripped him for not using two hands to make the catch and trying to look cool.
Two hands while sprinting toward the fence and reaching over his head? That’s not an option.
Jones made a nice leaping grab to rob Eric Hosmer in the fifth. Don’t think he used two hands on that play, either.
Manny Machado had four more hits yesterday at Single-Frederick, giving him eight in three rehab games. Once he’s back at third base, perhaps as early as Tuesday night, does Jonathan Schoop become the regular second baseman?
Still don’t have an answer to that one.
Schoop is getting acclimated to third base, but he’s clearly more comfortable at second.
“He’s going to turn the double play well above average, with arm strength,” Showalter said. “That’s one thing that steps out at you. He could profile down the road as someone who’s an offensive run producer and play the middle infield. We’ll see.
“I feel comfortable that Jonathan’s going to be as good as he’s capable of being, and that’s what makes me feel good about him. He’s learning little things left and right. Some of their pitching patterns we’ve talked to him about. They threw him 15 out of 18 breaking balls in one stretch. We were talking to him about that. And he was hitting ninth. That’s the way it is in the American League East.
“I’m glad he’s on our side. He’s got a chance to be a pretty good one. He’s played a pretty good shortstop, too, at times. But we’ll see where he settles out and how things go with Manny the next few days.”
Delmon Young had surfaced only once since April 19, going 0-for-3 in an April 22 game in Toronto, before his pinch-hit double yesterday in the ninth inning. Fans keep asking what’s wrong with him and why he’s not playing.
Young stood on the on-deck circle as a pinch-hitter Saturday night, but was called back into the dugout after a batter reached base. Showalter wanted David Lough to bunt.
It’s obviously not a health issue.
“He’s good,” Showalter said. “Not real good matchups for him if you look at it right now. It will be. There will be some times when he plays three...like he has already. Same way with Lombo (Steve Lombardozzi). I don’t want Lombo to sit too long.
“I don’t really look at any of our guys as some extra player. They’re going to be called on a lot. Delmon, anytime I see a good matchup, he’s going to play.”