Showalter speaks after 8-6 loss to Cardinals

SARASOTA, Fla. - Orioles manager Buck Showalter wasn’t upset by the news that No. 2 pitching prospect Hunter Harvey may be sidelined four to six weeks with a slight fracture of his right fibula.

Harvey was hit by a comebacker yesterday in a minor league game against the Twins in Fort Myers. An X-ray came back clean, but a CT scan today revealed the injury.

“If there’s actually such a thing as a good (injury),” Showalter said following an 8-6 loss to the Cardinals that snapped their winning streak at four games. “It’s not-displaced, hairline, and he was only going to throw about X-number of innings anyway, so now we can just let him go when he gets back. So I don’t look at it as anything.

“It kind of keeps us from having to break up his season, there’s a half-full (opinion) for you. I know exactly where his innings are now, shouldn’t be an issue.

“I think Hunter hit 98 yesterday in that inning. He’s in a good place, so freshen up his arm a little bit and get him back out there in four to six weeks. It’s the definition of hairline. You have to really look for it. I don’t know why they went with a CT scan. He must have had some point tenderness today or something.”

The Orioles aren’t taking any chances with Harvey, 20, who is expected to start at Single-A Frederick and could move up quickly.

“Most of those things, some people pitch with them, play with them,” Showalter said. “Just not a good idea right now because then it may become displaced. So just put him in a boot and he’ll be ready to go.”

Starter Bud Norris went four innings today, but he couldn’t come back out for the fifth due to an elevated pitch count.

norris-wide-back-pitching-white-sidebar.jpg“Not as good as it needs to be, not as good as it’s going to be,” Showalter said. “Like to have him go another inning, but the pitch count and the other team wouldn’t let him. Lot of deep counts lends to lack of crispness.

“I just don’t think he’s real confident throwing the ball. Didn’t seem real confident challenging the strike zone with his stuff. It’s normal. We have a couple more weeks, he’ll get the ball a couple more times. Feel confident he’ll make some strides and be ready.”

Rule 5 pick Jason Garcia, pitching for the first time since March 10, allowed a hit and struck out three in the seventh inning.

“It’s just a tough evaluation because his last outing, I don’t know if the groin was bothering him a little bit, the leg, but the first time he looked like he had a little spring training dead arm. Now he’s kind of freshened back up and he’s crisp again, so hopefully we can see ...,” Showalter said.

“It’s obvious that he’s got a real good arm. He threw some dynamite changeups today.”

Garcia has been limited to three outings because of a sore hamstring, but Showalter won’t adjust his schedule and use him more to rush the evaluation process.

“No, same amount,” Showalter said. “We’re down to 17-18 pitchers now, so I’m sure Wally (Dave Wallace) will probably have him on like an every other day thing.

“We’ve got, what, two weeks left? He’s going to get plenty of looks, plenty of looks.”

The Cardinals stole five bases in six tries today and ran on two other pitches that were fouled off. Showalter didn’t place all the blame on his catchers. There was plenty to go around.

“I’m not happy about it,” Showalter said. “We’ve had a lot of that this spring. What happens when you spend so much time controlling the running game, pitchers sometimes when they don’t see a throw over or an inside move or something, they just kind of relax. There’s another step to it. Sometimes you have to ... especially when you’re playing people you’re unfamiliar with. That’s something we will address. We’ve had it not only at second base, we’ve had it at first base.

“We also had a couple of things at second base I thought we were less than diligent in holding guys. It is on the list. We’re usually really good at it. We haven’t been down the spring here.”

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