Simon Out For Year



Right-hander To Undergo Surgery To Rebuild Ligament

April 23, 2009|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,

Alfredo Simon's long-awaited opportunity in a major league rotation lasted just two starts as the Orioles right-hander has decided to get ligament-reconstruction surgery on his pitching elbow, putting him out for at least a year.

Simon, a 27-year-old whom the Orioles signed out of the Mexican League in August and watched pitch well enough this spring to earn the No. 3 spot in the rotation, was 0-1 with a 9.55 ERA in two starts. He was removed from his outing April 14 at Texas after just 1 1/3 innings because of elbow pain.

"We got a start and an inning and a third, so that obviously wasn't good," Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said. "You could see right away. He went from 94 [miles per hour] to 86 to 90, so that really wasn't going to play. To be honest with you, it's tough for us, but I'm more disappointed for the kid. You think about what the kid had at stake. He had an opportunity here. He pitched well in the spring, but as is the nature of this game, it can evaporate in a hurry."

Simon was originally signed by the Philadelphia Phillies as a nondrafted free agent in 1999 but didn't make his major league debut until last September for the Orioles.

"They gave me the opportunity and I can do the job, but my elbow doesn't have ligaments," Simon said. "So I am going to do the best I can to come back next year."

Simon is planning on having the surgery shortly and it will likely be performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.

Huff's best shot

Orioles first baseman Aubrey Huff knows that nobody has hit the warehouse during a game at Camden Yards, and he's pretty sure he's not going to be the first. Huff did make a strong run at it Tuesday night, depositing a pitch from Jose Contreras onto Eutaw Street, the 49th homer to land there. The ball traveled 415 feet.

"I don't know how close it came, but that was all I had," Huff said. "I hit it down the line, high and with backspin. It was kind of cold. Maybe if it's hot, it goes another five, 10 feet, but I can't imagine me doing it, maybe somebody stronger. Luke [Scott] could do it if everything is right. Luke has mamma-jamma pop. But that's all I had."

Montanez's surprise

After driving five hours Tuesday and arriving at Camden Yards about an hour before the originally scheduled first pitch, Lou Montanez figured he would get a night to relax after earning a promotion from Triple-A Norfolk. But those plans changed when starting center fielder Adam Jones was a late scratch from the Orioles' lineup.

"I saw the lineup and I wasn't in the lineup and [bench coach Dave Jauss] came up to me and he's like, "You're batting second, you're playing left,' " Montanez said. "I started laughing and he was like, 'I'm serious.' That's when I got serious and said, 'Let's get to business.' It was great that I was in there. Hopefully, I'm in there a lot more games."

Montanez, who was promoted after Ryan Freel was put on the disabled list, went 1-for-5 with an RBI double. He was in the lineup again Wednesday.

Around the horn

Rich Hill will start his rehab assignment Friday, starting and throwing about 60 to 65 pitches for Single-A Frederick. ... Jones returned to the Orioles' lineup Wednesday after missing two games with right hamstring tightness. ... Triple-A Norfolk catcher Matt Wieters missed his fourth straight game Wednesday with a strained right hamstring, but director of player development David Stockstill said the top prospect will return to the Tides' lineup Thursday.

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