The Orioles officially lost half of their infield yesterday with shortstop J.J. Hardy going on the disabled list with a fractured right wrist. First baseman Chris Davis beat him to it with a strained right oblique.
Get pied at your own risk.
The bullpen is missing closer Zach Britton, set-up man Darren O’Day and Mike Wright. Utility player Ryan Flaherty had a setback yesterday while throwing from beyond 60 feet in Sarasota. Rule 5 outfielder Anthony Santander recently was moved to the 60-day disabled list.
Enjoy his Rule 5 status next spring.
No one is going to feel sorry for the Orioles. All teams face some level of adversity. But manager Buck Showalter keeps losing important players, and that includes the games Machado and center fielder Adam Jones missed without going on the DL.
Don’t forget that Showalter didn’t have No. 1 starter Chris Tillman for the first month of the season. He’s lost Britton twice to a strained left forearm. Outfielder Joey Rickard went on the DL in April with a sprained middle finger. Catcher Welington Castillo has been on the DL twice due to shoulder and testicular injuries. O’Day missed a week earlier this season with shoulder fatigue. Showalter couldn’t use Mychal Givens because of back soreness. Gabriel Ynoa tossed six scoreless innings in relief in his Orioles debut and went on the DL the following day with a strained hamstring. Seth Smith has needed time off due to his hamstring and back.
And that’s just the stuff we know about.
Would anyone be surprised if Vidal Nuño suddenly came down with an injury after another brutal outing last night?
“Believe me, everybody’s got their tale of woe if they want to have that,” Showalter said. “People get sick, people leave when a loved one passes away. I mean, that’s part of life. You’ve got to deal with it. We’ve done a good job of dealing with it in the past.
“Darren had a bullpen session today and that went real well. He’ll have a pretty intense sim game on Wednesday and if that goes well we’ll activate him on Friday. Zach’s going to pitch (tonight) and we’ve got a return date in sight now. J.J. will be back at some point.
“You can look at this thing with a lot of negatives. If I and the coaches and the players start talking about that, then it’s a bad atmosphere, instead of saying, ‘Hey, here’s an opportunity to really show our mettle and fight through it.”
The inability of some relievers to take advantage of their opportunities also has been a pain, but that’s a separate topic.
Hardy apparently will stay with the team for now instead of flying to Sarasota. He’s shut down and unable to do anything besides begin the healing process.
“There’s not a whole lot he can do right now,” Showalter said. “I talked to him today. There’s a lot of stuff that he wants to continue working with that he does, whether it be legs or other arm. He’s been doing a lot of work with some other things to try to get a positive out of it.
“He’s got a 2 year old (Jay) - he’s 2 or 3 - and it gives him a chance to help his wife (Adrienne) a little bit at home. That’s a full load. So, there’s something good come out of it. I told him, ‘Don’t feel like you’ve got to be here at 1 or 2 o’clock every day if you need to spend some more time there.’ He’s a real easy guy to trust and he’s going to be back as soon as he can be back.”
The Orioles want to utilize his leadership despite his absence from the field. He’s been like an extra coach for them.
“Believe me, he’s a guy that’s kind of behind the scenes,” Showalter said. “He’s not walking around trying to show everybody how smart he is. There’s a lot of respect for J.J. in our clubhouse. This guy’s been playing for a long time for a reason. He carries a lot of wisdom with him, so when he speaks people know it’s sincere. It’s not anything that’s not pure-hearted. His words carry a lot of weight.”
Tillman is making his ninth start tonight since coming off the disabled list and the Orioles are waiting for him to get back to his previous form. He’s carrying an 8.07 ERA and 2.103 WHIP in 35 2/3 innings.
Tillman is 5-2 with a 4.17 ERA in eight career starts against the Indians, with a 1.279 WHIP over 45 1/3 innings. Edwin Encarnacion is 17-for-60 (.283) with three doubles and three home runs, and Jason Kipnis is 4-for-14 (.286) with a double and two home runs.
Carlos Santana is 2-for-14 (.143) with a double and home run.
Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin has registered a 5.83 ERA and 1.380 WHIP in 13 starts over 71 innings, but he’s averaging 0.8 walks per nine innings. Right-handers are batting .325 against him and left-handers are hitting .302.
Tomlin is 3-3 with a 5.19 ERA ERA in seven career games (six starts) versus the Orioles, with a 1.442 WHIP in 34 2/3 innings. He’s 2-1 with a 7.41 ERA and 1.412 WHIP in three starts at Camden Yards totaling 17 innings.
Jones is 10-for-18 (.556) with four doubles and a home run against Tomlin and Mark Trumbo is 2-for-8 with a double and home run.