Duchscherer scratched, OD readyiness in question

SARASOTA, Fla. — Orioles starter Justin Duchscherer was a last-minute scratch from Sunday’s intrasquad game, further raising concerns over whether his left hip will hold up enough to be part of the Opening Day rotation.

“He wasn’t able to pitch,” manager Buck Showalter said of Duchscherer. “I don’t know where we’re at. [Head athletic trainer Richard Bancells] said that he just felt some discomfort [in his left hip] and wants to get it looked at. He doesn’t feel good about where it’s at.”

Duchscherer has made just one spring outing, going two innings March 8 in Clearwater,
and has been slowed all spring by lingering hip soreness from surgery that ended his season last year.

On Sunday, he warmed up on flat ground before seeking the team’s medical staff and Showalter acknowledged it would “be tough” at this point for Duchscherer to get the 20-27 spring innings that the club has targeted.

The news, while not surprising given Duchscherer’s injury history, is still a stark
contrast from the sentiment following Tuesday’s start.  Duchscherer tossed two scoreless innings against the Phillies in his lone Grapefruit League appearance, allowing a double and a walk, and said afterwards that he was encouraged by how his hip was feeling better with each outing.  He also admitted that is a matter of mentally getting back to just focusing on his mechanics and not his health.

Showalter said Sunday he wasn’t sure of the next step for Duchscherer, who was signed to a one-year incentive-laden deal this offseason with the feeling being if he was healthy and productive he would be in the team’s rotation.

“I just don’t have enough information to know what he’s dealing with,” Showalter said. “I’ll probably know something by the end of the day.”

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