The flu that hit the Orioles clubhouse last week affected two more players Tuesday.
The Orioles sent center fielder Adam Jones and right-handed relief pitcher Evan Meek home from Camden Yards before the game against the Tampa Bay Rays was postponed because of rain. Neither player would have been available if the Orioles and Rays would have played.
“From what I understand, it’s going on all over,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s not just in our locker room. Unfortunately, a lot of it is unavoidable other than don’t touch or communicate with people all day. That’s pretty hard to do in this sport. I’d like to say I haven’t seen it before, but I have. I just hope it runs its course.”
Orioles players walked around the clubhouse Tuesday with their shirts pulled over their faces in an attempt to avoid catching the illness.
Jones has played in all 13 games for the Orioles this season, but Showalter said his All-Star center fielder “did not look normal” when he arrived at the ballpark Tuesday.
“He wasn’t responding normally,” Showalter said of Jones. “Because he was really quiet, we knew right away. He’s not feeling 100 percent.”
Showalter said he was planning to give Meek — who tossed 12/3 scoreless innings Monday — a couple days off. But he would like to have him available in case of an emergency.
And as part of the Jackie Robinson Day festivities Tuesday, Jones was scheduled to catch the ceremonial first pitch from University of Maryland senior Kapria Lee, the recipient of a scholarship funded by the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Major League Baseball and the Orioles.
Earlier in the day, Jones attended an event at Camden Yards for the Y of Central Maryland.
“You’re talking about two guys — from what I know about them — they’re not guys who like ill health,” Showalter said about Jones and Meek. “They don’t let you know about every ounce of discomfort they’re feeling during the course of a day, so if they had to go home, that gives you an idea of what’s going on.”
Both left-hander Brian Matusz and hitting coach Jim Presley previously were sent home after bouts with the stomach bug, and Matusz went to the hospital Friday after becoming ill.
Machado to run bases
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado remains on schedule to run the bases Wednesday in Sarasota, Fla., for the first time since spring training.
Machado, 21, took infield and batting practice Tuesday as he continues his rehabilitation from offseason surgery on his left knee. He also had five at-bats in a simulated game, ran three sprints from 90 feet and another three at 180 feet.
Running the bases, where he will make cuts on turns and test the strength throughout his left leg, will likely be Machado’s final step before he can return to games and go on a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
Depending on the timing of that assignment, Orioles vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson could join Machado once he reports to a minor league affiliate, Showalter said.
“He’s somebody who’s got a real good feel of what [Machado] looks like when he’s right,” Showalter said of Anderson.
Machado had run the bases in spring training, but he suffered a calf strain last month that delayed his rehab.
Around the horn
Left-hander Johan Santana, who continues his rehab after a second shoulder surgery since 2010, is scheduled to throw a batting practice session to hitters Thursday. He’s still simulating a five-day rotation in Sarasota to make sure he recovers well from days when he pitches. … Third baseman Michael Almanzar (left knee) played in his first extended spring training game Tuesday, acting as the starting designated hitter for five innings. He will play the field for the first time Wednesday, starting at third base and playing seven innings. If he continues to progress, he should go on a minor league rehab assignment soon. … Showalter said right-hander Dylan Bundy, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery last June, is beginning to spin the ball but hasn’t thrown any breaking balls in bullpen sessions yet. Showalter said Bundy should start that sometime this week, and it will be his final step before getting into games. … Left-hander Troy Patton, who is in the midst of serving a 25-game suspension after testing positive for a banned amphetamine last season, is eligible to go on a rehab assignment Saturday, but the club hasn’t decided which affiliate he will join. … Triple-A Norfolk right-hander Steve Johnson (right shoulder inflammation) and outfielder Xavier Paul (lower back strain) were placed on the disabled list. Both moves were retroactive to Saturday. Catcher Brian Ward joined the Tides in a corresponding move. … The Orioles released minor league outfielder Trent Mummey, who was the team’s fourth-round draft pick in 2010 out of Auburn. Mummey was hitting .182 (4-for-22) with one run scored and eight strikeouts for High-A Frederick.
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