Roberts Ok After Fouling Ball Off Shin

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Notebook

X-rays Negative, But Leadoff Hitter Could Be Out For A Few Games

August 09, 2009|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,jeff.zrebiec@baltsun.com

TORONTO - -Precautionary X-rays taken on Brian Roberts' left leg came out negative, though the Orioles' leadoff man could still miss a few games with a bruised shin.

Roberts was removed from the Orioles' 3-2 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday in the top of the third, two innings after fouling a ball off his left shin in the first at-bat of the game.

"I got this one pretty good," Roberts said. "Usually, they don't swell up on me, but this one did. I didn't feel like I was going to be helping that much."

After the ball hit off his shin, Roberts hobbled into foul territory and eventually went down to the turf as head athletic trainer Richie Bancells and manager Dave Trembley emerged from the visiting dugout.

He finished the at-bat, drawing a leadoff walk, but he was clearly hobbled on the bases and in the field. Robert Andino pinch hit for Roberts in the third inning and stayed in the game at second base. Ty Wigginton eventually pinch hit for Andino in the ninth inning and stayed in the game at second base, failing to come up with two plays in the bottom of the 10th that contributed to the Orioles' loss.

Roberts, who has started 106 of the Orioles' 110 games, said he isn't sure how long he'll be out, but he was relieved by the negative X-ray results. It's probably unlikely he'll be in the lineup in Sunday's series finale.

"It was getting worse and worse," Roberts said. "I figured the sooner we got ice on it, the sooner we attended to it, hopefully the shorter the period I'll be out."

Taking it in stride

Jim Johnson was so excited Friday after notching his first save since being named the closer that he gave the game ball to somebody else. Johnson wanted Jason Berken to have it after the rookie pitched six solid innings to break a nine-decision losing streak.

"It was his second win," Johnson said. "I think he needed it a little more than I did."

Johnson allowed an infield single en route to a scoreless ninth and his fourth career save, but his first since last week's trade of former closer George Sherrill to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Johnson, who vowed to treat the closer role just like his previous one, said things really didn't feel differently aside from being on the field after the final out.

"It's always fun to be walking off with the team after a victory and shaking hands with your teammates on the field," Johnson said. "I'm normally in the clubhouse at that time."

More Wieters

When the Orioles awarded Gregg Zaun to the Tampa Bay Rays via a waiver claim Friday, they essentially made a commitment to play rookie Matt Wieters six days a week for the rest of the season.

"Without being disrespectful toward anybody, Wieters is going to be the catcher here for a long time. Wieters is going to be the guy," Trembley said. "I think Wieters needs to have as many opportunities as we give him, to familiarize himself with everybody on this staff. We've been catching Wieters five days a week. I'm going to try to catch him six if he can physically handle it. I think he can."

Trembley also said Wieters would catch Jeremy Guthrie, who is 1-6 with a 6.69 ERA and 13 homers allowed in nine starts throwing to the rookie.

Hill undergoes surgery

Orioles starter Rich Hill had season-ending surgery on his left shoulder Friday in Los Angeles, but he's expected to be ready to resume throwing by spring training. The surgery to repair "some fraying" on Hill's labrum was performed by Los Angeles Angels team physician Dr. Lewis Yocum.

"Richie Bancells told me it wasn't as bad as they originally had thought," Trembley said.

Trembley said Brad Bergesen (bruised left leg) is still walking with a slight limp and won't start throwing again until that's corrected. Bergesen is eligible to come off the disabled list Friday.

Around the horn

Brian Matusz, who makes his second major league start today, was named the Eastern League Player of the Month and the Orioles' Minor League Pitcher of the Month for July. Outfielder Jeff Fiorentino was named the organization's Minor League Player of the Month after hitting .358 with three homers and 20 RBIs in 28 games. ... Before Saturday, the Orioles had been held hitless in the first four innings of two straight games and held to one hit in the first four innings of the past three games. ... Nolan Reimold was caught stealing in the second inning Saturday for the first time in six attempts this year.

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