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Os add McFarland

The Orioles recalled left-hander T.J. McFarland from Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday while optioning righty Oliver Drake to Triple-A.
The 25-year-old McFarland will be making his second stint of the season with Baltimore. He previously compiled a 3.60 ERA in five appearances and struck out eight in five innings.
Drake, 28, posted a 3.52 ERA and struck out seven in five relief appearances spanning 7 2/3 innings.

Orioles @ Astros Game 2

Greetings from Houston, where the O’s will take on the Astros for the second in a four-game set.

The big news today is shortstop J.J. Hardy, who went to go get an MRI at 6 p.m. CT while we were talking to manager Buck Showalter. Hardy came out from pregame batting practice and delivered the news walking through the visiting dugout. We could have more news on that later.

Hardy said he was a little improved on Tuesday, though he acknowledged it’s tough to really know when he hasn’t swung a bat. He doesn’t play to test anything until after they get the MRI back. Hardy missed five walks in 2011 with an oblique injury and feels as if he tried to test it out too soon and it set him back.

“I always think the best case scenario that the MRI is good and he’s improved tomorrow as he is today and he’s playing,” Showalter said. “Do I think that’s going to happen? Probably not. But we will see. Maybe he comes back and plays defense for us in the 10th inning.”

*With Triple-A Norfolk’s game getting rained out tonight the plan is for Bud Norris to pitch Game 1 at 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday and have Matt Wieters catch. The two will rejoin the team after that but given the extra day it’s less likely that Wieters will debut as a DH on Thursday. Showalter could opt to have him start at catcher on Friday.

Norris will also be shortened up as he’s an option to start Sunday’s game in Cleveland.

*Brian Matusz has his hearing Wednesday at Minute Maid Park and the O’s continue to be confident he will get his eight-game suspension reduced. Both Showalter and EVP Dan Duquette will be present.

*Finally, Kevin Gausman threw a two-inning sim game this afternoon and he remains on track to start a rehab assignment for Frederick next.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Travis Snider LF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Delmon Young RF
Jimmy Paredes DH
Steve Pearce 2B
Ryan Flaherty SS
Caleb Joseph C

Mike Wright RHP

ASTROS LINEUP
George Springer RF
Jose Altuve 2B
Preston Tucker LF
Evan Gattis DH
Luis Valbuena 3B
Chris Carter 1B
Hank Conger C
Marwin Gonzalez SS
Jake Marisnick CF

Collin McHugh RHP

Hardy sits with left side soreness

Baltimore’s J.J. Hardy was not in Monday’s starting lineup as the shortstop is dealing with some left side soreness that he first felt on Sunday.

Hardy, who has been taking extra swings in hopes of finding his stride at the plate, came out to take early batting practice on Monday in Houston and felt the same sort of irritation. He immediately alerted head athletic trainer Richie Bancells and manager Buck Showalter, who are trying to get out in front of the injury. Hardy, who started the season on the disabled list, has played in just 23 games and is batting .190.

“I’m just nervous that it’s more than a day or two type thing,” said Hardy, who did not take batting practice Monday and had a similar issue sideline him for an extended period in 2011. “I’m just nervous that it might turn into something worse and I don’t want it to, so I think resting it is probably the right thing. It’s frustrating though. It’s the shoulder [injury] in the spring, then the back starts acting up. Now it’s this.”

Any sort of side soreness can often signal an oblique injury, which are a common injury for players to go on the DL with.

“I am not using that word,” Showalter said in regards to Hardy’s injury. “It’s one of those things you never say out loud. But [the injury] has some of those characteristics.”

Showalter said Hardy wanted to play Monday but given the team’s schedule –with no off day coming up–he decided to be cautious with things.

“We would all love for him to play but you got to take it out of their hands. Hopefully it’s something we can get ahead of and not have it turn into something else.”

Hardy was cautiously optimistic as well that this could only be a game or two type of injury.

“I sure hope so,” he said. “Honestly Im a little bit nervous about it because in 2011 I felt something like this, so I don’t want it to get to that point. We’ll see what tomorrow has, but it definitely makes me a little nervous.”

Jones at DH

Orioles All-Star Adam Jones returned to the starting lineup for the first time in three games on Monday in Houston, though the centerfielder was at designated hitter as he continues to work through a left ankle sprain.

“It’s boring DH’ing,” said Jones, who tested his ankle on Monday afternoon with some sprints in left field. “I am going to try to play center, but if I have to DH, I will DH. I think the important thing right now is to make sure there are no lingering effects and not try to be Superman right now.”

Jones was pleased with how he responded to Monday’s running and said the swelling from the injury –suffered at home plate on Thursday night– has completely gone away. While he never likes being out of the lineup, Jones –who sat Saturday and Sunday– said several times that he was trying to be smart about the injury given that it’s only June 1 and there’s a lot of baseball left to play.

Still, it’s been tough to watch his team from the bench.

“I’ve been bored,  really bored, missing my teammates, missing being on the field with the guys,” Jones said.  “But it’s crazy when I’m not in the lineup, everybody in Baltimore is like, you see people all the time, ‘I drove this amount, this distance to see you play and you’re not playing.’ That’s the thing. I’m in because I pride myself in playing every day, so when I’m not playing, I’m bored. I don’t know what to do. I’m going to try to get out there and stay out of the kitchen, because when I don’t play, I just raid the kitchen. … I’m not sad. I just want to play. You’ve been around me. I don’t like to disclose about how I’m feeling or how my body feels, but I just want to play and that’s what I’ve done here. Let’s get back to that.”

Orioles @ Astros, Game 1

Greetings from Houston, where the Orioles will open a two-city, seven game road trip. Adam Jones, who has been out the past two games with a left ankle sprain, was testings things out earlier in left field.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
David Lough CF
Adam Jones DH
Delmon Young RF
Chris Davis 1B
Steve Pearce LF
Caleb Joseph C
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Everth Cabrera SS

Ubaldo Jimenez RHP

ASTROS LINEUP

George Springer RF
Jose Altuve 2B
Preston Tucker LF
Evan Gattis DH
Colby Rasmus CF
Chris Carter 1B
Luis Valbuena 3B
Jason Castro C
Marwin Gonzalez SS
Brett Oberholtzer SP

Os vs. Rays, Jones sits again

Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones was not in Sunday’s starting lineups for the second consecutive day with a sprained left ankle. Jones, who suffered the injury while sliding into home plate during Thursday’s doubleheader nightcap, underwent an MRI in addition to an X-Ray.

“Nothing structurally [with the ankle], in pretty good shape there,” manager Buck Showalter said of the MRI results. “Just kind of verified, what Richie [Bancells] and the docs [thought]. [They] start treating it. Swelling has gone down. Not going to get into his availability today for competitive reasons, but I think he’s close.”

Showalter would prefer to have Jones return to the field but said that using him as a designated hitter option in Houston is a possibility if it will allow the All-Star to return quicker.

“I haven’t asked that, I haven’t had the conversation because with Adam you kind of have to that take out of play,” Showalter said of Jones, who has made it no secret that he likes to play every day. ” If he’s  not banging on the door early in the morning you know there’s something he’s still dealing with there.”

*Kevin Gausman will throw a sim-game Tuesday in Houston and will pitch three innings for Fredrick on June 6. He will then move to Bowie to throw 4-5 innings there. Also there’s been a change to Matt Wieters’ rehab schedule as he will not catch Monday and Wednesday now and will just catch Bud Norris Tuesday in Norfolk. He will join the team in Cleveland after that.

RAYS LINEUP
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Joey Butler DH
Evan Longoria 3B
David DeJesus LF
Logan Forsythe 1B
Steven Souza Jr. RF
Asdrubal Cabrera SS
Nick Franklin 2B
Bobby Wilson C

Jake Odorizzi RHP

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Delmon Young RF
Chris Davis 1B
Steve Pearce LF
J.J. Hardy SS
David Lough CF
Caleb Joseph C
Ryan Flaherty 2B

Chris Tillman RHP

Wieters slated to make debut Friday

BALTIMORE—Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is slated to make his season debut on Friday in Cleveland, as the All-Star backstop makes his first Major League appearance in more than a year.

Wieters, who has been rehabbing back from June’s Tommy John surgery, started his rehab assignment earlier this week and has been catching every other day. That will also be the plan, at least initially, when he rejoins Baltimore as Wieters works through the last bit of soreness on days between starts.

O’s manager Buck Showalter said he spoke with Wieters and got a good idea of where the catcher will be physically when he returns.

“Say the second catcher [starting in a game] we want to pinch-hit or pinch-run for, Matt will be OK to finish that game,” Showalter said. “His physical status will not require us to carry three catchers unless we want to.”

Wieters, who last caught for the O’s on May 4, 2014 will play for Double-A on Saturday, Class-A Frederick on Monday and Triple-A on Wednesday. He will travel Thursday to meet the team in Cleveland and is expected to start Friday’s series opener.

Right now, the O’s have two catchers on the roster in Caleb Joseph and Steve Clevenger. Joseph was the O’s Opening Day catcher and figures to split duties while Wieters is worked back in.

Closely monitored this spring, the Orioles were optimistic that Wieters could be ready by the season’s opener. But the catcher felt soreness in his first spring start, on March 17, and was subsequently shut down. He has been brought along slowly since then and spent the majority of the past two months in extended spring before Tuesday’s rehab debut.

Os vs. White Sox doubleheader

Greetings from Camden Yards where the O’s, originally slated for an off day, will play two against the White Sox instead. The straight-through doubleheader starts at 1:05 p.m. ET.

Tyler Wilson will make his first career big league start in Game 1, followed by rookie Mike Wright in Game 2. Here are your Game 1 lineups….

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Delmon Young RF
Chris Davis 1B
Steve Pearce LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Caleb Joseph C
Everth Cabrera 2B

Tyler Wilson RHP

WHITE SOX LINEUP

Adam Eaton CF
Melky Cabrera LF
Jose Abreu 1B
Adam LaRoche DH
Alexei Ramirez SS
J.B. Shuck RF
Gordon Beckham 3B
Tyler Flowers C
Carlos Sanchez 2B

Chris Sale LHP

Os sign Miranda

BALTIMORE— The Orioles officially announced the signing of Cuban left-hander Ariel Miranda on Wednesday, with Miranda introduced along with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette.

The 25-year-old Miranda pitched professionally in Cuba from 2007-13, posting a 22-25 record, 3.78 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 80 appearances (64 starts). He has struck out 274 batters and walked 151 in 386 innings and could help the Orioles as early as later this season.

“He’s got good experience, good stuff and all the ingredients to be a very capable Major League pitcher,” Duquette said.

Miranda will head to Florida to get in shape and then play for an affiliate, either Class-A Frederick or Double-A Bowie, to start his professional career. Asked to compared himself to a current player, Miranda —through an interpreter— said he’s like Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia but “more athletic”, a comment that drew laughs from the assembled group.

“I was told that the Orioles have one of the best pitching coaches [Dave Wallace] in the business and a great Minor League system,” Miranda said. “For me, it will be a great opportunity to play and help the Major League team as soon as possible.”

Cuba’s baseball seasons are different than MLB so Miranda last played in 2014 and has been working out in the Dominican Republic as well as the U.S. throwing bullpens and live batting practice sessions. Duquette didn’t get into specifics in terms of a signing bonus but said that Miranda—who signed a Double-A contract— got a deal that was on par with what the organization has given to other Cuban players like Dariel Alvarez and Henry Urrutia.

Orioles vs. Astros, De Aza DFA’ed

The Orioles reinstated infielder Ryan Flaherty from the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday and, to clear a roster spot, designated outfielder Alejandro De Aza for assignment.

Baltimore will now have 10 days to trade, release or outright De Aza. The 31-year-old batted .214/.277/.359 with three home runs and seven RBIs in 30 games with the Orioles this season.

The news is a bit of a surprise considering infielder Everth Cabrera has options remaining. But with Flaherty coming back from the DL and the recent back issue with shortstop J.J. Hardy, the Orioles want to be able to cover themselves in the infield.

Flaherty, 28, appeared in two rehab games with Triple-A Norfolk, going 0-for-5 with three walks, two RBIs, and a run scored. He was placed on the DL for the second time this season on May 12 with a right groin strain that he had re-tweaked.

*Tyler Wilson will start Game 1 of Thursday’s doubleheader with Mike Wright Game 2. The O’s can recall Wilson because they are allowed to have a 26th man for the straight through DH. The typical rule, of having a guy stay at least 10 days in the Minors unless it’s an injury, doesn’t apply in this case.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Travis Snider LF
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Steve Pearce RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 2B
Caleb Joseph C

Ubaldo Jimenez RHP

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