SARASOTA, Fla. - Infielder Paul Janish said the surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow took place eight days ago and he’s hoping to be ready for the second half of camp.
“Surgery went well,” he said. “It was just a few bone chips. Nothing serious. They were cleaned out pretty efficiently. They didn’t have to look around a whole lot, so not very invasive, if you will. Hopefully, it will be a three or four week time frame and I’ll be able to play the second half of camp ideally. That’s optimistic, but we’ll see.”
Janish, signed to a minor league deal in November, said he began to experience discomfort in his elbow last month while working out. He assumed it was tendinitis.
“On one particular workout I kind of had it act up pretty, so the next few days I couldn’t really do a whole lot,” he said. “I went and got it looked at and as it turned out, it was bone chips, which is not really uncommon. But the timing for myself is obviously not very ideal, but we’ll deal with it and hopefully I’ll get to play in the second half of camp.”
Janish was signed due to his plus-defense at shortstop and ability to move around to other positions. The Orioles signed Jayson Nix to a minor league deal after finding out about the bone chips.
Janish still intends to fight for a spot on the opening day roster.
“Fortunately for myself I signed early in the offseason, which was kind of an indicator that they had some interest and hopeful that I would fit the role in whatever capacity that may be pretty well,” he said. “So, hopefully I will get to play the last two or three weeks of camp and play well and have a shot.”
Janish has a past relationship with pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti from their days in Atlanta, which helped in his decision to sign with the Orioles.
“And obviously the team had a great year last year, and somebody in my shoes, that’s pretty big for me at this point,” Janish said. “I want to be somewhere where every game is important, and as you go down the stretch, if I’m not fortunate enough to make the team out of camp, that they place value in having a veteran guy around as opposed to calling up a younger guy to get him experience and that kind of thing.
“All those things combined, it seemed like a pretty good fit for me.”
Manager Buck Showalter shared some observations from today’s bullpen sessions, including how new left-hander Wesley Wright is effective because of the way he hides the ball behind his back during his delivery.
Reliever Darren O’Day will be brought along slower than other pitchers in camp because, as Showalter quipped, “He’s going to make the team.”
Left-hander Brian Matusz will be stretched out again in camp so he can work on his changeup.
Ubaldo Jimenez has been “very engaged” in camp, according to Showalter. “He’s got a little burn.”
Showalter said Mike Wright, a starter at Triple-A Norfolk, has “that potential” to be a late-inning power arm in the bullpen.
Showalter also said it was apparent again why the Orioles selected Logan Verrett in the Rule 5 draft and traded for Jason Garcia.
Showalter noted that Tyler Wilson, selected in the 10th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Virginia, was “pretty impressive today.”
“The thing about a guy like Tyler Wilson and Verrett and (T.J.) McFarland, if you look through their histories from high school on, which I’ve looked at, and Friday night pitchers at Virginia, they don’t get taken because they don’t throw 100 mph,” Showalter said.
“There’s probably not a plus-plus pitch in a guy like Wilson, but when you put the repertoire together, you win baseball games. He locates the fastball, he’s got a good delivery, he fields his position, he holds runners, he’s athletic, he’s smart. Guys like that, they fit us. I’m glad we protected him.
“If you’re just basing scouting on gun readings, you’re going to miss on a lot of guys. You look at his track record from high school on, he’s done nothing but win everywhere he’s gone. Same with McFarland. There’s a reason why that follows people around.”
Showalter noted that Hunter Harvey, the first-round pick in 2013, was calm and didn’t overthrow during his session.
A group of veterans, including O’Day Chris Tillman, Zach Britton, and Tommy Hunter, stayed around to watch the young pitchers’ bullpen sessions. Tillman and Britton shook Harvey’s hand when he was done.
“What was impressive was the number of people who were non-throwers today that know they’re going to be on the club who were out there watching guys throw,” Showalter said. “I don’t know if it’s curiosity at this point. They’re looking for allies. They’re looking for guys who can help us. I think everybody knows that’s where we’re going if there’s a need.”