So, two things to think about and get excited about/get nervous about for tomorrow’s game, the series, and the season.
Let’s do the exciting news first. J.J. Hardy is very close to making his return, as early as TOMORROW. The O’s site has an article detailing every option the O’s have to make room for him on the roster. You can read about that here.
I want to say a few things about these options. To me, the best option would be to send Rapada down. Although he is another lefty along with Gonzo, he has been absolutely horrific, boasting an almost 15.00 ERA. Every time he goes in to relieve, he gives something up. Josh Rupe would be a close second to who I think should be sent down, but he’s gotten a little bit better recently and is the man in the bullpen who can go a few innings. We definitely need a long man in the pen to deal with the young pitchers’ sometimes very short starts.
They also talked about sending a player down, either Andino or Izturis because of the O’s need for a lot of pitchers in the bullpen. I’m not a big fan of this option because Izturis can option out if sent down to Triple A and I feel the O’s need to keep him on. Andino, the better of the two SS offensively and a strong position player, could be sent through the waivers if sent down and another team would most definitely pick him up. I really don’t think either of these are options for the O’s and that they should go with sending down a relief pitcher.
As for the not so good news. Luke Scott has a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Now, before you freak out, he is expected to play through it and Andy McPhail said “it’s not like it’s a disabled list-type thing.” They will keep an eye on it and Scott will focus on rehabbing it while remaining in the line-up. However, he may have to have off-season surgery on it. Scott said in an interview that he will hope for his miracle healing to come in again. What is he referring to? He had some pain in his Achilles at the beginning of his career that just went away without requiring anytime on the DL or surgery.
Luke is definitely an important part in the line-up. He led the team with HRs last season and was the team MVP. Because Lee, Guerrero, and Reynolds are not producing AT ALL this season, Scott may be the player needing to come through the most on the HR/RBI front.