Hardy/Flaherty could rejoin Os this weekend

NEW YORK— Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy is making his third rehab start for Double-A Bowie on Wednesday night and manager Buck Showlater said it’s possible the shortstop joins the team in New York on Thursday.

Hardy has been rehabbing along with infielder Ryan Flaherty, who isn’t eligible to come off the disabled list until Friday. Still the pair could travel together and Hardy, who hadn’t played in five weeks, could be nearing his season debut.

“We’ll see how tonight goes. See how it feels,” Showalter said of Hardy, who has been sidelined with a left shoulder strain. “He’s sore in the right places. He’s not having any trouble in his shoulder, knock on wood. If he stayed down there two weeks on rehab, which you really can’t do, you’re going to have to make some adjustments in the big leagues offensively especially. It’s just a part of it.”

Hardy doesn’t have any more tests to pass and his arrival would likely mean the O’s would option infielder Rey Navarro back to Triple-A Norfolk.

“He’s passed everything physically,” Showalter said. “We’d lean on J.J. to a point. There are some things I wouldn’t ask him that he shouldn’t have to decide. It’s not fair to him. When you get to know a guy like we know J.J., he knows what’s needed and expected at this level so he’s very close. We’re just hoping we can get through tonight.”

How the Orioles will clear a roster spot for Flaherty is a lot less clear, as the O’s have a lot of guys out of options and there isn’t a lot of flexibility on the roster.  Showalter said going down a pitcher is an option, though it would be just a temporary one.

Baltimore honoring slain NYPD officer, Os fan

The Orioles, in New York Tuesday to start a slate of six games, plan to have a white home jersey overnighted and signed to present to the family of NYPD officer Brian Moore, who was shot in Queens on Saturday and died on Monday.

Moore, 25, was a big Orioles fan and when the Mets —who honored Moore by wearing NYPD caps in warmups and using police officers to make the national anthem’s color guard—reached out to tell Baltimore that he had an affinity for the team, the O’s acted quickly.

“When you listen to a lot of people talk about him, he was pretty special,” manager Buck Showalter said of Moore. It’s going to be quite a loss.”

The Orioles were also all out for the pregame moment of silence in Moore’s memory. His favorite player, Chris Davis, also signed a baseball for the team. The flags at Citi Field flew half mast on Tuesday.

Orioles @ Mets lineups and pregame notes

Greetings from Citi Field, where the Orioles will take on the Mets for the first of six games in New York. (They play the Yankees this weekend.)

*Steve Pearce is out of the lineup with a stomach bug that he’s been dealing with since Sunday’s game against the Rays, which he left early. In his place, red-hot Jimmy Paredes will play second base.

*J.J. Hardy and Ryan Flaherty are both in the starting lineup again for Double-A Bowie and will be playing again on Wednesday before the team decides what the next step is.

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes 2B
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Delmon Young RF
Caleb Joseph C
Travis Snider LF
Everth Cabrera SS

Bud Norris RHP

METS LINEUP
Curtis Granderson RF
Juan Lagares CF
Lucas Duda 1B
Michael Cuddyer LF
Daniel Murphy 3B
Wilmer Flores SS
Kevin Plawecki C
Dilson Herrera 2B

Bartolo Colon RHP

Orioles vs. Rays home finale

Greetings from Tropicana Field, where the Orioles will play their final “home” game here against the Rays. J.J. Hardy and Ryan Flaherty, who are both with the team, will head to Double-A Bowie after this to begin their rehab assignment on Monday. The hope is the two can rejoin the team this weekend in New York. Flaherty is eligible to come off the DL on Friday and that’s looking like it will be the case, while Hardy has missed much more time and the team will wait and see how he feels after the first few games.

It will be interesting to see what roster moves the Orioles make to add both guys. Rey Navarro seems like an obvious choice, but the second roster spot isn’t quite as clear. Jimmy Paredes is on an offensive tear and out of options. Do the O’s go short a pitcher and pull the plug on Rule 5 draft pick Jason Garcia? Do they pull off a deal? Should be interesting.

Catcher Matt Wieters, who is rehabbing back from Tommy John surgery, addressed the media today and said he’s still on an every other day catching schedule in extended spring. Wieters caught five innings yesterday and the biggest issue is still recovery in between games. He has a little elbow soreness and is trying to be smart with things. The safe bet is he won’t go out on rehab assignment until he can catch back-to-back. Wieters has been here the whole series, watching games in the dugout.

Wesley Wright will throw a game in extended spring on May 19.

RAYS LINEUP

Brandon Guyer LF
Steven Souza Jr. RF
Logan Forsythe 2B
Evan Longoria 3B
Joey Butler DH
James Loney 1B
Tim Beckham SS
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Rene Rivera C

Nathan Karns RHP

ORIOLES LINEUP

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

Wei-Yin Chen LHP

Orioles vs Rays Game 2

ORIOLES LINEUP

Manny Machado 3B
Jimmy Paredes DH
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Steve Pearce 2B
Travis Snider RF
Caleb Joseph C
David Lough LF
Everth Cabrera SS

Miguel Gonzalez RHP

RAYS LINEUP
David DeJesus LF
Steven Souza Jr. RF
Asdrubal Cabrera SS
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Desmond Jennings DH
Logan Forsythe 2B
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Bobby Wilson C

Chris Archer RHP

Orioles at Rays, Pearce at 2B

Greetings from Tropicana Field, where the Orioles will host a “home” game of sorts from St. Petersburg. They’re wearing their white uniforms tonight and batting second. They’re also hitting first on the field and the Rays are going to try to present a “neutral” front in terms of in-game entertainment.

Steve Pearce is starting at second base for the first time in his Major League career.

RAYS LINEUP

DeJesus DH
Souza RF
Cabrera SS
Longoria 3B
Loney 1B
Forsythe 2B
Kiermaier CF
Guyer LF
Rivera C
Colome SP

ORIOLES LINEUP
Alejandro De Aza LF
Jimmy Paredes DH
Delmon Young RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Steve Pearce 2B
Manny Machado 3B
Everth Cabrera SS
Caleb Joseph C

Chris Tillman RHP

Buck’s advice to Baltimore’s African Americans

BALTIMORE— While centerfielder Adam Jones opined before the game about the situation in Baltimore, it wasn’t until after his team’s 8-2 win over Chicago that manager Buck Showalter was asked directly what his advice would be right now to young African Americans in Baltimore.

“You hear people try to weigh in on things that they really don’t know anything about. I tell guys all the time when they talk about… I’ve never been black, OK? So I don’t know, I can’t put myself there,” Showalter said.  “I’ve never faced the challenges that they face, so I understand the emotion, but I can’t… It’s a pet peeve of mine when somebody says, ‘Well, I know what they’re feeling. Why don’t they do this? Why doesn’t somebody do that?’ You have never been black, OK, so just slow down a little bit.

I try not to get involved in something that I don’t know about, but I do know that it’s something that’s very passionate, something that I am with my upbringing that it bothers me and it bothers everybody else. We’ve made quite a statement as a city, some good and some bad. Now, let’s get on with taking the statements we’ve made a create a positive. We talk to players, and I want to be a rallying force for our city. It doesn’t mean necessarily playing good baseball. It just means everything we can do… There are some things I don’t want to be normal [in Baltimore again]. You know what I mean? I don’t. I want us to learn from some stuff that’s gone on on both sides of it. I could talk about it for hours, but that’s how I feel about it.”

Orioles vs. White Sox with no fans

Greetings from a quiet Camden Yards, where the Orioles and White Sox will play a 2 p.m. game without any fans in attendance. Much of today’s pregame talk centered on the riots in the Baltimore area and the Orioles upcoming series that has now been moved to Tampa Bay. But there were also a few injury updates.

Shortstop J.J. Hardy will test his left shoulder today and is planning on going with the team to Tampa Bay to continue his rehab. If he feels OK, he could go out and play in games after that. Hardy had a Cortisone injection in the area on Saturday and said today he was feeling much better.  Catcher Matt Wieters (Tommy John surgery) will play in an extended spring game on Thursday and Ryan Flaherty (groin strain) –who is still with the team– took 75 swings today and should be ready to come off the disabled list when ready.

Manager Buck Showalter said Jonathan Schoop had fluid drained from his right knee to help get the last bit of swelling out and Wesley Wright (trapezius strain) will be able to resume throwing early next week.

Here are your lineups…

WHITE SOX LINEUP

Adam Eaton CF
Melky Cabrera LF
Jose Abreu 1B
Adam LaRoche DH
Avisail Garcia RF
Conor Gillaspie 3B
Alexei Ramirez SS
Geovany Soto C
Micah Johnson 2B

Jeff Samardzija RHP

ORIOLES LINEUP 

Alejandro De Aza LF
Jimmy Paredes DH
Delmon Young RF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Manny Machado 3B
Everth Cabrera SS
Caleb Joseph C
Rey Navarro 2B

Ubaldo Jimenez RHP

Rays release weekend info

The Orioles would have preferred to swap a series with Tampa Bay and make up this weekend’s set in July in Baltimore, but they couldn’t get the Rays to agree on that. Instead, the three games being played at Tropicana Field –which will be $15 a ticket as general admissions–will be a huge revenue hit to Baltimore.

Moved due to safety concerns over the riots in downtown Baltimore, the O’s will get the ticket and concession money this weekend at Tropicana Field, which isn’t expected to be much. They will also have to pay for staffing and any other expense costs. As the home team, the Orioles will wear white and bat second and the Rays will not have their usual in-game entertainment aimed at the home crowd. It will be weird, to say the lease.

There was some thought to playing at a closer neutral site, like DC, but that never got close. Keep in mind, that MLB steps in during these events and helps coordinate things. You have to wonder if they will find a way to help the Oriole recoup basically a lost week of revenue.

Today’s game, after two postponements, won’t have a crowd although it will be on television, and radio. I will also be there covering the game, so look for updates on Twitter and my Facebook page. (https://www.facebook.com/brittghiroli).

The drive in to the stadium and the press box will have an eerie feel today. For everyone’s sake, and for things much bigger than the game of baseball, I hope this ends soon. Baltimore has been my home since taking the O’s beat in 2010 and it’s a proud, strong city. Seeing people on the news and reading about the efforts to help was a welcome reprieve from the riot coverage. Stay safe, stay strong everyone.

Os announce scheduling changes

Brittany Ghiroli/MLB.com

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BALTIMORE— Due to the ongoing riots and protests in the city of Baltimore, the Orioles-White Sox game on Wednesday will be moved up to 2:05 p.m. ET and be closed to the public.

Both Monday and Tuesday’s games against the Sox were postponed due to safety concerns in the downtown Baltimore area, as the city is currently in a state of emergency and is using aid from the National Guard to restore peace.

The two games will be made up as part of a single-admission doubleheader at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Thursday, May 28th starting at 4:05 p.m. ET.

This weekend’s scheduled home series against the Rays will move to Tampa Bay, where the O’s will act as the home team at Tropicana Field. The start times will remain the same for the relocated games.

The Office of the Commissioner will continue to monitor the situation and will remain in communication with the Orioles regarding their discussions with the Baltimore City Police Department and other local officials.

Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said in a press release: “After conversations with the Orioles and local officials, we believe that these decisions are in the best interests of fan safety and the deployment of City resources.

“Our thoughts are with all those who have been affected by violence in Baltimore, and everyone in our game hopes for peace and the safety of a great American city.”

All fans with tickets to games on April 29, May 1, May 2, or May 3 at Oriole Park may exchange their tickets for any remaining home game this season on a “dollar for dollar” basis. Tickets for Monday’s postponed game will be valid for the doubleheader on May 28. Fans unable to attend the doubleheader will have an opportunity to exchange their tickets for any remaining home game this season. Fans with tickets for Tuesday’s postponed game must exchange those tickets to attend the doubleheader on May 28 or exchange them for any remaining home game this season. Exchanges for both games will be completed on a “dollar for dollar” basis.

All tickets are subject to availability, and exchanges must be completed by June 30, 2015. Complimentary tickets are non-exchangeable.

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