Hernandez scratched, expected to make next start Friday

Righty has shoulder discomfort

throwing session scheduled for Tuesday

May 17, 2010|By Dan Connolly, The Baltimore Sun

Right-hander David Hernandez was scratched from Sunday's start against the Cleveland Indians with shoulder discomfort, but he and the club expect he'll be ready to pitch this week against the Washington Nationals.

"I got fired," Hernandez joked when asked about being scratched. "I've just got some discomfort in my shoulder. They are just taking precautionary measures and giving me off a start."

Hernandez, who is 0-5 with a 5.84 ERA and has lost 11 straight decisions, said he first felt a pinching in his shoulder "almost two weeks ago" and attempted to pitch through it because it didn't bother him during games.

But Tuesday against the Seattle Mariners, when he allowed four earned runs in 52/3 innings, Hernandez said he felt the pain from the first inning on.

A magnetic resonance imaging has not been scheduled, and Hernandez said it's believed the pain is triggered by biceps inflammation.

"My last start was probably the first time I felt it during the start," he said. "I usually feel it more the next day or my side day. But usually on the fifth day, it feels well enough to where I can pitch and not feel it during the games because I've got the adrenaline going and you don't really feel it. That's why I said something — because I felt it during the game."

Orioles manager Dave Trembley said that if Hernandez throws without pain during his side session Tuesday, he would make his next start Friday at Washington. Because it might cost Hernandez only one outing, Trembley gave Sunday's start to left-handed reliever Mark Hendrickson instead of dipping into the prospect pool at Triple-A Norfolk.

Who's on first?

After demoting Rhyne Hughes to Norfolk on Saturday night, the Orioles have only one true first baseman on the roster — Garrett Atkins, who is batting .243 with no homers and six RBIs in 103 at-bats this year.

Atkins was hitless in four at-bats Sunday, striking out once and hitting into three groundouts, including an inning-ending double play in the fourth. When asked after the game whether he would need to make a change at first base, Trembley said, "I'll sleep on it and see where we're at."

Collectively, Orioles first basemen are hitting .226 with no homers, 11 RBIs and six runs in 38 games.

Ty Wigginton, who has played mainly second this year, and Luke Scott, who has been the primary designated hitter, could play first. But before Sunday's game, Trembley said Atkins is his starter at the position — for now.

"Garrett Atkins is playing first base" today, Trembley said before Sunday's game. "And I would expect he would play first base for the next few games here while we are going with one more pitcher and one less position player."

The statement leaves the door open for someone else to claim the job in the near future. One name that could surface eventually is Nolan Reimold, the club's former starting left fielder who was sent down to Norfolk last week.

On Sunday, Reimold played first base for the Tides and hit a two-run homer. He hasn't played first in the majors but took some ground balls there at the end of spring training.

Castillo back

With Hendrickson starting, the Orioles needed another reliever and again tabbed lefty Alberto Castillo. It's the second time Castillo has been recalled from Norfolk this season.

"I was surprised that they called, but I'm ready as always," said Castillo, who flew in from Buffalo, N.Y., late Saturday. "You just come in, strap it on and go get them."

His first outing back wasn't a good one. He allowed two hits in two-thirds of an inning, including a two-run homer to Russell Branyan in the ninth.

Around the horn

Wigginton had his fourth consecutive multi-hit game Sunday and extended his hitting streak to seven games. He is batting .444 in that span. … Michael Gonzalez (shoulder) will throw live batting practice Monday at extended spring training in Sarasota, Fla., and then will throw one inning in an extended spring game Thursday. … Brian Roberts (back) is hitting off a tee and is expected to go to Sarasota to rehabilitate when the Orioles start their road trip this week. … Adam Jones threw out a runner at home in the ninth inning Sunday for his first outfield assist this year. The club has seven outfield assists, all at home plate.



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