This, that and the other

The Orioles are going to experience one of the busiest off days in recorded history.

This team has a lot to learn about relaxing.

Shortstop J.J. Hardy will undergo a CT scan on his left foot and I’d be surprised if the news is good. The Orioles viewed the results of his X-rays yesterday and ordered more pictures. Something must be wrong beyond a bruise.

Closer Zach Britton will undergo an MRI on his left ankle. X-rays came back negative and the Orioles say it’s a sprain, but they want to make absolutely certain.

I warned you in yesterday morning’s blog entry. Early diagnosis leads to X-rays which lead to an MRI. It’s all part of the dance - on a sore ankle. I’m expecting good news on this one.

Minor league pitcher Hunter Harvey, the No. 1 or 2 prospect in the system depending on who’s doing the grading, will be checked by a specialist to find out why he keeps experiencing discomfort in his groin. He’s had two setbacks since being shut down late in spring training. He may be headed to one sports hernia surgery, which wouldn’t be a shocker.

* Matt Wieters will be behind the plate Tuesday night when the Orioles begin a three-game series against the Yankees at Camden Yards. However, he probably won’t be calling pitches the following night if we follow the pattern one month into the 2016 season.

Wieters caught on back-to-back nights for the first time over the weekend, with manager Buck Showalter taking advantage of today’s off day. Wieters didn’t play yesterday and could gain additional recovery time for his surgically repaired right elbow.

“Felt good,” he said. “I didn’t have to make any throws the day before. You want to be able to catch a little more than I have been, and really the arm feels good. We’re still going to have to monitor it a little bit, I guess, as the year goes on, but everything continues to steadily improve.”

Matt Wieters gray set sunglasses.jpg

The Orioles are understandably careful with Wieters after he came down with elbow soreness in spring training. The workload will get heavier as they progress through the summer.

“I think I can do it again soon, but it will be a wait and see, see how many throws I make in each game and things like that,” Wieters said. “It’s not exactly what I expected coming into the season, but it’s still kind of seeing how the game goes and adjusting.”

* Hyun Soo Kim and Nolan Reimold, the Orioles’ “extra” outfielders, are a combined 21-for-50. How would Showalter have responded back in March if told they’d post a .420 average?

“I’d say that somebody was right,” Showalter replied. “Nothing surprises me anymore at this level, all the things you’ve got to do at really good levels to get here.

“You know, it’s all about the health with Nolan. You can tell, him moving around. Sometimes I wonder, OK, if you play him every day, would he physically regress? I don’t know. Sometimes you wonder if they way they’re being used exactly is the right way to do it, or you expand that role and maybe have the potential of that going away. But they’re doing their part. And like I said, I think yesterday, something’s going to happen where the waters are going to part and they’re going to have to go out there every day.

“Nolan’s in a good stretch. He’s started against some right-handed pitchers. And like I’ve said, I think Kim’s kind of benefitted a little bit by being able to step back and watch something unfold that he didn’t know what was going to happen - the stadiums, the pitchers, the fields, the lights. All the things that we do differently here.”

Reimold had an RBI single yesterday and raced from first to third on a wild pitch. He’s batting .340 (18-for-53) since Sept. 30.

Reimold always will have the injury stigma attached to him, which is unfortunate. He needed a second disk fusion procedure on his neck in 2013 to fix the first one. Not his fault. He played the last part of the 2009 season with a partially torn Achilles tendon. He took a fastball to the face from the Rays’ Alex Cobb in a 2012 spring training game in Port Charlotte and immediately wanted back in the lineup. He was healthy in 2015, whether in Baltimore or Norfolk.

This may sound odd to some folks, but Reimold was healthier last year than Hardy, Wieters, Adam Jones and Jonathan Schoop. Am I right?

* Jimmy Paredes is continuing his injury rehab assignment without the discomfort returning to his left wrist. He’s 4-for-18 in five games at Double-A Bowie and 3-for-4 in one game at Single-A Frederick.

Paredes’ assignment ends after May 15 and the Orioles will have to figure out if there’s a spot for him on the 25-man roster. He’s out of options.

I still don’t see how it’s possible unless they option Ryan Flaherty again and consider Paredes as their backup second baseman.

Flaherty is expected to be recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Thursday unless Hardy’s injury forces him on the disabled list, necessitating a corresponding move earlier in the week. Paul Janish would be another possibility as Hardy’s replacement, but Flaherty is on the 40-man.

Flaherty drew three walks in four plate appearances yesterday and is 8-for-20 in six games.

Showalter wants to get back to a four-man bench. Perhaps Flaherty and Janish could co-exist on the 25-man roster if Hardy is sidelined.

* Showalter praised left-hander Chris Lee for another strong start Saturday with Bowie. Lee held Harrisburg to one earned run over seven innings and is 4-0 with a 2.49 ERA in four starts.

“It was good to see,” Showalter said. “He’s been solid there. So has (David) Hess.”

Lee brings some serious heat, but he’s only registered 12 strikeouts in 25 1/3 innings. Nothing wrong with it. Just interesting that he isn’t punching out more batters.

* Joe Gunkel moved up from Bowie to Norfolk yesterday and allowed one earned run (three total) and three hits in 5 1/3 innings, with one walk and four strikeouts.

“They’ve finally got five starters there,” Showalter said.

* I looked up left-hander Tim Berry’s stats yesterday for no other reason than idle curiosity.

The Orioles lost Berry to the Marlins on a waiver claim back on Dec. 23, a failed attempt to sneak him through. He was coming off a poor season at Bowie, it was close to Christmas. May as well give it a shot.

Berry, taken in the 50th round of the 2009 draft out of San Marcos (Calif.) High School, is 0-2 with an 11.66 ERA in four starts with Double-A Jacksonville. He’s allowed 21 runs (19 earned) and 32 hits in 14 2/3 innings, with eight walks and 15 strikeouts.

* Family visitation for Joe Durham, former Orioles player, scout and minor league coach who passed away last week, will be held Friday from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. at Wylie Funeral Home on 9200 Liberty Road in Randallstown. Funeral services will be held on Saturday at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church-Baltimore on 4200 Liberty Heights Ave. in Gwynn Oak, Md.

Donations in Durham’s memory can be directed to the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland (KidneyMD.org).

Durham was the second African-American player for the Orioles, the first position player and the first to hit a home run in 1954. He also was an extremely nice man who loved baseball and loved to talk about it and share his knowledge and time with people of all ages.

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