Orioles' Scott sidelined again, hopes to return this season

Outfielder still aiming to avoid surgery on tear in right shoulder

July 19, 2011|By Jeff Zrebiec, The Baltimore Sun

With his right shoulder not improving as much as he would like, Orioles left fielder Luke Scott will be shut down for a couple of days, but he still hasn't abandoned hope of playing again this season.

"Hopefully, it'll just be a couple more days. That's my goal. The goal was to be ready today, and just after these first two games, I'm just not ready to play yet. But I'm working to get there," said Scott, who played in two rehabilitation games for Double-A Bowie, going 2-for-6 with a homer and two strikeouts. "I like to look at things in a positive light, shoot for the stars and hopefully I'll be ready by the end of this homestand."

Scott is on the disabled list for the second time this season because of the labrum tear in his shoulder. He has played 63 games this season and has been out of the lineup since July 3. Before reporting to Bowie, Scott did nothing for about two weeks, hoping the rest would ease his discomfort. However, his shoulder hasn't responded as he had hoped.

"I'm still dealing with this tear on pitches that are kind of away and pitches that I get out in front of, like breaking pitches," said Scott, who is batting .223 with nine homers and 22 RBIs for the Orioles a season after he was voted the team's Most Valuable Player. "There's no shrill or sharp pain or anything. It's just discomfort. It's been like this since May, where I haven't been myself. I haven't had the snap on my swing and [the] bat speed. It's been a challenge to deal with."

Scott has maintained that season-ending shoulder surgery is his last resort, and he reiterated that Tuesday. However, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Scott might need to decide soon because if he waits too long to have the surgery, it could affect his availability for next season.

"That's Luke's decision. It's his body, his career," Showalter said. "There are options there that he [could] continue down this road, see if it gets to something that he can manage, and be productive. You can do the rehab, kind of what [Jason] Berken and [Jim Johnson] did at one time in [their careers]. But that is a three-month rehab. You don't do anything but strengthen the capsule and the things around it. That is an option, or you just go ahead and have the surgery.

"Talking to [head athletic trainer Richie Bancells], if he waits a whole lot longer, he puts starting next year healthy in jeopardy. Luke has a lot of things to think about. He's aware of all those options. I'm going to kind of leave him alone, let him think it through and see where he wants to go … If that's an option in Luke's mind, something that he wants to do, he's going to have to do it pretty quickly so he's healthy and ready to start the season next year."

More injury news

Second baseman Brian Roberts experienced migraine headaches Monday, but Showalter said they weren't believed to be related to the concussion he had in May. Showalter also said Roberts felt much better Tuesday and could do some physical activities.

Nashville-based orthopedic surgeon Dr. Thomas Byrd, who performed surgery on the left hip of Justin Duchscherer in June 2010, has recommended that the pitcher have another surgery on his hip. Duchscherer, who signed with the Orioles in February but has not pitched all season because of hip and back issues, will consult with team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens before deciding. Duchscherer, who has had three hip surgeries, is not expected to pitch again this season.

Utility infielder Cesar Izturis (elbow surgery) will resume playing in games Friday for the Gulf Coast League Orioles. He'll move to Double-A Bowie on Saturday and serve as the Baysox's designated hitter, then play shortstop for Bowie on Sunday. If all goes well, he could be activated from the disabled list for Tuesday's series opener in Toronto.

Orioles acquire Phillips

The Orioles acquired left-handed reliever Zach Phillips from the Texas Rangers for Triple-A infielder Nick Green and cash. Phillips, who is 1-3 with a 4.43 ERA in 33 games for Triple-A Round Rock, was added to the 40-man roster and will report to Triple-A Norfolk.

Showalter said pitching coach Rick Adair and former pitching coach Mark Connor, who have ties to the Texas organization and have worked with Phillips, gave positive reports about the 24-year-old pitcher.

"He's got a lot of weapons," Showalter said. "He has a chance to pitch out of the bullpen in the big leagues. I know Rick, those guys, they have had a lot of very close contacts with him. They think he needed a change of scenery. I like Phillips. He's got a good arm. I like him. I know two or three years ago before they got such a stockpile of arms, he was way up in that Baseball America prospect book — whatever that means."

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