An MRI taken Monday on Luke Scott's ailing right shoulder revealed a partially torn labrum, an injury that won't prevent the Orioles outfielder from playing this season but could force him to have offseason surgery.
"I'm going to play through the pain, pray and believe in my miracle healing," Scott said. "That's it."
Scott has started 25 of the Orioles' 33 games this season, all but one in left field. He's batting .253 with six homers and 14 RBIs. He said the shoulder has been bothering him since the start of the season, and while he feels it while he's hitting, it mostly affects his throwing.
"I've been playing with it since Day One, and I wouldn't point to that as the reason to any of my struggles," said Scott, who was one of the Orioles' most productive hitters last year, batting .284 with 27 homers and 72 RBIs and being named the club's Most Valuable Player. "I knew a [tear] was definitely a possibility. I've had shoulder pain before, but not like this. I was very disappointed to find out, but as I've said, I've had miracle healing before. I'm just trying for another one."
Scott was referring to a left Achilles tendon injury that he said bothered him for about two seasons before the discomfort went away without surgery. Asked about the possibility of shoulder surgery after the season, Scott said he wouldn't decide until much later this season after he sees how the injury responds to treatment.
Scott will meet with team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens and head athletic trainer Richie Bancells on Tuesday to determine how he'll rehabilitate the injury while remaining in the lineup.
"It's something that we have to manage so it's not anything that necessarily is a [disabled list] type thing," Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said. I think as a practical matter, you may see [Felix] Pie out there [in left field] an inning or two earlier. But from what I've been told or what I can gather, it will just be something we have to manage."
Hardy to be activated Tuesday
Shortstop J.J. Hardy, who has been on the DL since April 10 because of a strained left oblique, will rejoin the club in time for Tuesday night's series opener against the Seattle Mariners.
Hardy went 2-for-9 with three walks and two runs scored in three rehab games for Triple-A Norfolk. He was initially scheduled to play a fourth game for the Tides, but the club opted to give him the day off before his likely return to the Orioles' lineup Tuesday.
He was 3-for-15 with three doubles, two RBIs and two walks when he strained his oblique while taking a swing in the second game of the Orioles' April 9 doubleheader against the Texas Rangers.
The Orioles are expected to demote a pitcher and return to a 12-man staff to open a 25-man roster spot for Hardy.
Jordan mulling options
Director of amateur scouting Joe Jordan has a pretty good idea of the two or three players whom the Orioles will be choosing from June 6 with the fourth overall pick in the 2011 amateur draft.
But Jordan isn't tipping his hand with the draft still four weeks away and the top of the first round still taking shape.
"In an ideal world, we'd have it down to four guys and make it easier, but the reality is there's probably twice that many," said Jordan, who will preside over his seventh draft with the Orioles. "It's smarter right now to give us more options. What if one or two of these guys get hurt? There is no harm in keeping eight to 10 of them in the mix. That's what we're doing."
Jordan said that for the next couple of weeks, his staff will observe and evaluate before gathering at the team's spring training complex in Sarasota, Fla., to create a draft board.
"We've seen everyone," Jordan said. "It's just a matter of continuing to get looks. We have a rotation where all the supervisors, cross-checkers and myself are trying to get to all the guys that we have in the mix. We're not trying to make decisions. We're trying to get looks. It's a good group of players, but we're a long way from any answers."
What complicates the process, Jordan said, is that no clear-cut No. 1 overall pick has emerged. The past two years, it was a foregone conclusion long before the start of the draft that the Washington Nationals would select Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper with the top pick. Last year, Harper, pitcher Jameson Taillon and shortstop Manny Machado, whom the Orioles selected third overall, separated themselves from the rest of the draft class.
However, at least at this early stage, several names are being bandied about for the top five picks. They include Rice third baseman Anthony Rendon; UCLA pitchers Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer; fellow college pitchers Danny Hultzen (Virginia), Sonny Gray (Vanderbilt) and Jed Bradley (Georgia Tech); Oklahoma prep pitcher Dylan Bundy; and high school position players Francisco Lindor (shortstop) and Bubba Starling (outfielder).