Notebook: Hernandez to return Friday vs. Nationals

Starter skipped Sunday's game because of shoulder discomfort

May 18, 2010|By Dan Connolly and Kevin Van Valkenburg, The Baltimore Sun

David Hernandez felt no pain in his throwing shoulder during a side session on Tuesday, meaning he will make his scheduled start Friday in Washington.

"It went really good," said Hernandez, who had his start Sunday skipped because of a pinching discomfort in his right shoulder.  "I threw what I'd normally throw in any given side day. I had no pain, so that's good.

The Orioles expected Hernandez to miss just one start, but wanted to make sure Hernandez was pain-free. The 25-year-old has started seven games this season, posting a 0-5 record and a 5.84 ERA.

"It was normal. It was just like a normal bullpen session, no problems," said Orioles pitching coach Rick Kranitz. "He's good to go."

Hernandez said the discomfort had been lingering for a few weeks, but he didn't feel it in a game until his May 13 start against the Seattle Mariners. The decision to hold him out on Sunday, Hernandez said, was the right one.

"I really do think not starting on Sunday really helped me because I feel if I probably would have started I would have been at 60 or 70 percent," Hernandez said. "Then it would have been the same cycle over and over. I guess it was a really good thing to give me 10 days, really, between starts. I feel a lot better."

Montanez makes most of his time

It might seem like a small, irrelevant thing, but Orioles outfielder Lou Montanez says he always tries, each day, to make a lap around the clubhouse and chat up some of his teammates. It's not an attempt to be overly social as much as it is a way to remind himself that, yes, he is still a member of this team.

"If you're not in there every day, it's pretty tough to still feel like a part of the team," Montanez said.

Montanez, prior to last night's game, had played in only 15 games this year, and he hasn't seen the field since he went 0-for-4 in a May 5 loss to the Yankees. He certainly hasn't given the Orioles a specific reason to put him in the lineup with just four hits in 34 at bats this year, good enough for a dismal .114 average. But Montanez did play well in spring training, hitting .319, and he was expected to play more than this after he joined the club when Felix Pie went on the disabled list April 16. He was

But since Corey Patterson was brought up from the minors, there has been even less reason to find him some at bats, especially with Patterson hitting so well (.318). And so Montanez sits and waits, hoping he'll get another opportunity eventually.

"Usually in this role, you see a lot of veterans because they've done it before," Montanez said. "I'm going through this adjustment where I'm trying to stay sharp because I never know when I'm going to play.

I could go six or seven days without playing. I still have to kind of figure that out, and that's what I'm going through right now."

Montanez —- who was picked third overall by the Chicago Cubs in the 2000 draft, but never made it to the majors with his original club — has hit well at times with the Orioles, especially in the minor leagues. And he hit a home run in his first major league at bat in 2008. But he missed most of last season after tearing ligaments in his thumb while making a diving catch against the Blue Jays.

"I don't really know what's going to go on with my role," Montanez said. "There hasn't been much talk. Obviously if they bring up [Nolan] Reimold tomorrow, I'm gone. So I'm just practicing every day and trying to prepare myself for the unexpected."

Jones gets fined

Adam Jones will be getting fined by Major League Baseball for throwing his helmet 50 feet into right field in Monday's 4-3 loss to the Royals

— all players now are fined by the league for equipment violations, taking it out of the hands of the club — but his manager didn't mind the show of emotion.

"I think it is an emotional game," Dave Trembley said. "People that are very passionate about what they do — I don't have a problem with it."

Jones, who said Monday the helmet toss was how frustrated he was with himself for hitting into an inning-ending double play, seemed to imply it wasn't something he was particularly proud of, but that he didn't want to dwell on it.

"It's a frustrating game," Jones said. "Of course I was frustrated. I wouldn't have thrown if I wasn't."

Despite his disappointment, Jones has been one of the few players getting his rhythm back at the plate. Before Tuesday, he'd hit in nine of the last 10 games and (.333) and raised his average from .218 to .245.

Around the Horn

Before Tuesday's game, the Orioles had just one extra base hit in the last 77 at bats, Luke Scott's home run on Sunday. ... Jeremy Guthrie's start against Texas is the sixth of his career against the Rangers. He's 3-0 with a 3.16 ERA over 31.1 innings in five previous starts. ... Tuesday was Brooks Robinson's 73rd birthday.

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