One day after starting in center field and playing all nine innings in Boston, Adam Jones was again out of the starting lineup Monday for the sixth time in seven games due to a back issue.
“Woke up a little stiff from [Sunday],” Showalter said. “Just didn’t like some of the descriptions of what he was giving me on what he was feeling so we’ll back off a day and see what [Monday] brings.”
Jones, 30, had played 149 or more games in each of the previous five seasons – including all 162 in 2012. He’s now missed 19 games this season for various ailments including shoulder, wrist, ankle and now these back spasms.
“Adam, he gets a lot of cachet with me. I mean, nobody plays it harder,” Showalter said. “You’ve all heard me talk about it; he posts up. Probably a lot of guys may not have even tried it yesterday.”
The back spasms started last Monday, and Jones missed the full three-game series against the Washington Nationals and the first two in Boston. Showalter said Jones exited Sunday’s game without any discomfort, but the manager felt his center fielder wasn’t quite 100 percent.
“He was fine yesterday, but he looked a little gingerly to me,” Showalter said. “A lot of times, especially in day games. They get loosened up and the adrenaline kicks in and they’re on their way, they get through it.”
With only seven games to play, the Orioles could decide to just shut down Jones for the rest of the year. But Showalter said that hasn’t been discussed, especially with the club still theoretically alive in the wild card race.
“I know he wants to play some more this year. He wants to play a lot more,” Showalter said. “We’ll see what each day brings. He’s very frank and honest with me.”
** In other Orioles news, the club still lists Thursday’s starter against the Toronto Blue Jays as TBA. But assuming he’s not needed in relief, rookie right-hander Tyler Wilson will get the assignment opposite lefty David Price.
** Alan Mills, the pitching coach at Double-A Bowie, joined the Orioles for the homestand. The former Orioles right-handed reliever helped lead a Baysox pitching staff that won the Eastern League championship.
** Washington Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon dropped his appeal of a three-game suspension for hitting Manny Machado with a pitch Wednesday. The Nationals further suspended Papelbon for the remainder of the season after he choked Bryce Harper in the dugout Sunday.