Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 29 with a flexor mass strain, is scheduled to throw on flat ground Monday and Wednesday with the goal to be pitching off a mound by Friday, manager Buck Showalter said Sunday.
Hammel last pitched in a 5-0 loss to the Boston Red Sox on July 28.
Showalter said he thinks Hammel will need two rehab starts before he’s ready to return. Even with the minor league teams’ seasons winding up, Showalter said he’s confident Hammel and any other Orioles that will need rehab starts will get their work in.
“We can always get a game,” Showalter said. “It depends on how you define a game. We have instructional league. We go from one right on to the other. I’m real hopeful that we have some teams in the playoffs. ... We can do it [put together rehab games]. It’ll just be to a different degree.”
Orioles vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson went to Double-A Bowie on Saturday to check on infielder Wilson Betemit’s rehab from a knee injury. Betemit went 1-for-2 with two walks against Richmond. He’s batting .368 in 11 rehab games.
Showalter asked Anderson if Betemit would be ready to play for the Orioles on Sunday.
“He said not yet,” Showalter said. “Just watching him in between at-bats, you can tell he’s kind of feeling his way a little bit. I don’t see it going much longer than the period we have, we could ask for an extension.”
Showalter also talked about shortstop J.J. Hardy’s back spasms that kept him out of the lineup Saturday and Sunday.
"J.J.'s improved,” Showalter said. “Could probably push the envelope if I wanted to, but I think we've got a chance to get him back 100 percent tomorrow. Don't want to take a chance. He hit a little bit today and ran a little bit."
Showalter said right-hander Francisco Rodriguez (strained right groin) will be ready to pitch whenever the Orioles need him.
Rockies lineup: Fowler 8, Dickerson 7, Tulowitzki 6, Cuddyer 3, Helton DH, Arenado 5, Blackmon 9, Torrealba 2, LeMahieu 4; Chacin 1.
Orioles lineup: McLouth 7, Machado 5, Davis 3, Jones 8, Markakis 9, Roberts DH, Flaherty 6, Casilla 4, Teagarden 2; Feldman 1.