Orioles pitcher Josh Rogers is seeking a second opinion on his left elbow that’s expected to lead him to season-ending surgery.
Rogers came out of yesterday’s game with soreness in the elbow and underwent tests today. The Orioles are classifying the injury as a strain of the ulnar collateral ligament.
“I’m pretty concerned,” said Rogers, who will visit orthopedic surgeon Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas. “I think the level of concern for everybody is pretty high. It’s not good. I know that.”
Rogers huddled with head athletic trainer Brian Ebel this afternoon to go over the results of his examination.
“There’s pretty good evidence that there’s something wrong structurally, and that hopefully I can come back better and stronger,” Rogers said, “but probably going to have to be repaired.”
The Orioles are prepared to lose a second pitcher this year to Tommy John surgery who was acquired in last summer’s trade activity. Double-A Bowie reliever Zach Pop underwent the procedure in May.
Rogers threw 34 pitches yesterday after replacing opener Jimmy Yacabonis and allowed three runs in 2 1/3 innings to raise his ERA to 8.79.
“I felt something in my elbow, just something different,” said Rogers, who turns 25 next month. “I think all pitchers at every level kind of go through different types of elbow pain and soreness, that type of thing. I knew something yesterday was a little bit different.
“Super unfortunate and real disappointing, but hopefully I’ll be back stronger and better than ever.”
Manager Brandon Hyde confirmed the pending examination following today’s 10-5 loss to the Padres.
“There’s something there and he’s going for a second opinion,” Hyde said. “Hopefully, it’s good news and he’s not out too long.”
The season has been a grind for Rogers, who was 2-6 with an 8.51 ERA and 1.745 WHIP in 11 starts with Triple-A Norfolk. Now he’s likely headed for surgery and an extended absence from the mound.
Rogers was part of the three-player return for closer Zack Britton. Cody Carroll hasn’t pitched this season due to a disk injury in his lower back.
The Orioles optioned reliever Matt Wotherspoon to Norfolk this afternoon to create a roster spot for left-hander John Means, who’s coming off the injured list to start Friday night against the Indians.
Today’s outcome produced the 13th loss in the last 14 games and lowered the record to 22-58 overall and 9-30 at home.
Dylan Bundy was removed after a leadoff single in the fifth. He was charged with five runs and six hits.
“I thought he worked hard through four innings,” Hyde said. “I thought he worked so hard in that first inning that he lost some of his stuff after the first. He did a great job of pitching out of a jam in the first inning, was throwing 94 (mph) and looked real good. On a hot day I just feel like he kind of ran out of gas a little bit.”
“I just wasn’t commanding the ball very well today at all with all of my pitches,” said Bundy, who’s 3-10 with a 4.91 ERA. “I had to work pretty hard in those first three innings and just wasn’t able to get any momentum going.”
The Padres hit five more home runs today to give them nine in the series.
“Our pitchers aren’t trying to do that,” Hyde said. “I get it. They’re not trying to give up homers, they’re busting their butt. It’s just not happening.”
Hyde is trying to maintain his sense of humor.
“I thought Franmil (Reyes’) got blown out a little bit. I thought the wind helped that one go 575 feet,” he said.
“No, I think those were homers. Those were well hit balls. The 0-2 pitch to (Greg) Garcia, Franmil’s ball to the moon. Home runs. Bad pitch execution and homers.”
The Orioles have set a record by allowing at least five home runs in 10 games, and they haven’t reached the All-Star break. Growing pains? The ball? The ballpark?
All of the above?
“I’m not really sure, to be honest with you,” Hyde said. “It’s just not real good, whatever it is. The homers are up around the league, obviously, but we’ve given up way more than our fair share. It’s a good place to hit, this park. That’s not an excuse, you’ve got to keep the ball off the barrel. We just don’t execute pitches very well. I think a little of it’s growing pain, a little bit of it’s poor execution. But when you have a team with a 6.00 ERA and have given up 1,400 homers so far, it’s hard to win games.
Said Bundy: “There are so many variables you can’t narrow it down to just one thing. That one to Garcia was just a bad pitch. It was a slider right down the middle. The one to Reyes was a quality pitch. He might have just been looking in there. The balls are flying out right now and you’ve just got to get the ball on the ground or weak contact.”
Hyde was left again to search for small victories as the losses mount.
“I’ve been doing that all year, looking for small victories, to be honest with you,” he said. “(Miguel) Castro and (Branden) Kline last night, (Mychal) Givens today, some things we’re doing offensively pretty well. The way Richie (Martin) swung the bat last night, the way that Sevie (Pedro Severino) swung the bat today. (Jonathan) Villar had a nice game offensively. But there’s not a whole lot of bright spots when you give up 18 runs in two games to the Padres. It’s tough to win that way.”