Pregame notes from Oakland on Jiménez, Bundy and more

OAKLAND, Calif. - Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jiménez is fine to make his next start. Jiménez fanned 11 and gave up three runs over 5 1/3 innings last night. He was pulled from the game after being hit on the right leg by a hot-smash grounder off the bat of Chad Pinder that went for an infield hit. After the game, Jiménez said he was pretty certain he was going to be fine.

Manager Buck Showalter confirmed this afternoon that he is.

“The biggest problem he had - it’s the same place he got hit in Minnesota (on July 9),” Showalter said. “He said it wasn’t the worst thing, but it was the exact same spot he got hit in Minnesota. That is a reminder to me of the things that guys play with and play through that they just don’t even bring up a game. Tim Beckham hammered a ball off his ankle last night, but they’re out here taking ground balls today. But Ubaldo’s fine.

ubaldo-jimenez-throwing-gray-side (1).jpg“He’s pitching well and he had good stuff last night. You know the one thing about Ubaldo - this guy posts up. You tell me a guy that makes every start. The baseball world is full of pitfalls with multi-year contracts that guys physically can’t live up to. He’s as durable a pitcher there has been over the major leagues during his career.”

Right-hander Dylan Bundy gets the start for the Orioles tonight in the third game of this series with Oakland. But Showalter would not yet commit to which day Bundy will start after tonight. But his next start seems certain to once again come on extra rest. The fifth day after tonight is next Thursday and the Orioles are off then. So Bundy should at least get one extra of rest his next time out.

“We’ll see how things go tonight and how he feels the next day,” Showalter said. “I know what we have on paper. But I’m not going to publicly put that out there until we get feedback from each outing. That is what we’ve been doing all year with him. He said he feels great and we’re going to keep him that way.”

Bundy had 11 days’ rest between his final pre-All-Star break game and his first start out of the break. He also has had starts on eight days’ and five days’ rest recently. He is pitching on the normal four days’ rest tonight against Oakland.

Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy has been on the disabled list with a broken right wrist since June 18. He was initially put on the 10-day and later moved to the 60-day DL. While Hardy could be activated as soon as Aug. 18 - the day before he turns 35 - that is not likely to happen.

Showalter said Hardy is progressing fine. He took some dry swings today and hasn’t had any setbacks. Showalter was asked if it could be Sept. 1, when rosters expand, as the date when Hardy returns.

“I’m not going to throw some date out there. We hope it’s the 19th. But chances are we know it’s not the 18th. If it’s soon thereafter, love to have him. It’s been a loss for us,” Showalter added.

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