By Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun
9:56 PM EDT, August 20, 2012
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Buck Showalter said he had been looking for a night off for shortstop J.J. Hardy, and Monday made sense, especially considering Hardy is 2-for-27 against Texas right-hander Ryan Dempster in his career.
“It’s just a good time, I’ve been thinking about it for a while,” Showalter said. “J.J., you’ve seen the level he plays the game at. … There’s nobody more deserving [of a rest].”
It helps, Showalter said, that he now has three other players who can handle shortstop: Omar Quintanilla, Robert Andino and rookie Manny Machado. Almost exclusively a shortstop in his brief minor league career, Machado could have been an option to replace Hardy ther on Monday. But Showalter went with Quintanilla, also naturally a shortstop, instead, with Machado staying at third and Andino playing second base.
“I want Manny to concentrate at third base as much as possible. Every experience that we can expose him to bodes better for him,” Showalter said of the 20-year-old, who played just two games at third in the minors. “We just want to keep him mentally in one place right now, but we know he can go over there and play.”
Patton ‘pretty iffy’ to return this month
Lefty Troy Patton, who has a right ankle sprain that forced him to the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 13, is not improving as quickly as the team had hoped. Showalter said athletic trainer Richie Bancells does not believe Patton will be ready by Aug. 28, the day he is eligible to come off the DL.
“Talking to Richie, right now it is pretty iffy if Patton makes the DL time,” Showalter said. “He is still pretty sore and swollen.”
Patton, who is 1-0 with a 2.58 ERA in 50 games this year for the Orioles, has been receiving treatment three times a day, but has not been able to do anything baseball related, Showalter said.
“They are going as fast as they can go,” Showalter said.Suspension unlikely for Reynolds
Orioles first baseman Mark Reynolds said he had not heard from Major League Baseball about potential sanctions after his umpire-bashing comments in Detroit on Friday night.
A decision is expected to come Tuesday, and the sense is Reynolds will be fined but not suspended. Reynolds criticized the umpires following Friday’s game after he was ejected for tossing his glove to the ground when an out call at first was overturned.
Around the horn
Right-hander Jason Hammel hopes to take fielding practice off a mound Tuesday — the first time he will have done that since his knee surgery. He’ll also throw off a mound as he continues to attempt to return from the injury. … Wilson Betemit (right wrist) will begin swinging a bat in the next few days. … Bowie lefty Jake Pettit was named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week, becoming the first Baysox player to receive the honor since Zach Clark in June. Pettit, 25, threw 7 1/3 no-hit innings against the Trenton Thunder on Saturday before surrendering a home run on the way to a win. A 42nd-round pick in 2010, Pettit is 9-3 with a 4.10 ERA in 22 games (19 starts) with the Baysox. … Showalter said he’d like to get rookie lefty Wei-Yin Chen some extra rest, so it is possible he could be pushed back to Sunday, with Zach Britton potentially starting Friday and Miguel Gonzalez on Saturday. But that has not been decided yet, Showalter said. … According to Elias Sports Bureau, the Orioles are the first team in modern baseball history to overcome a deficit of at least five runs in the first inning of two separate road games in one season. They did it Sunday in Detroit and July 31 against the Yankees in New York. The other teams to accomplish that did it before 1900: Brooklyn in 1893 and Boston in 1890.
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