Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel hopes to resume throwing sometime next week after receiving a cortisone injection in his right forearm Friday. And while he will remain on the disabled list indefinitely, Hammel is confident he will be able to help the club down the stretch.
Hammel, who hasn’t thrown since his last start July 28, received the injection after renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews reviewed his MRI and concurred with the recommendation of Orioles team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens.
Hammel said he hopes to throw again sometime during the Orioles’ series in Arizona this upcoming week, but he said he could also take advantage of an off day next Thursday following the club’s West Coast interleague road trip and begin throwing back home next Friday.
“I am by no means done for the season,” Hammel said Saturday. “Obviously I’m going to miss a little more time than I expected, but it’s not really worth another full season because talking to both Dr. Wilckens and Dr. Andrews, the forearm thing is kind of a precursor to the old Tommy John [surgery]. I’m not going to mess with that. Right now, it’s just waiting and seeing how it feels. Even after the injection [Friday] it does feel a little bit better, but I won’t know for sure until I throw a baseball again.”
Hammel was confident having an injection was the right direction to go, especially since he wasn’t going to be able to return from the disabled list when he’s eligible Tuesday. He also added that after reaggravating his right knee following arthroscopic surgery last July, he wants to be careful.
“As much time as I’ve already missed, what’s another couple of days? Put some medicine in there and kind of accelerate the healing process,” Hammel said. “As much as I was feeling good coming back from the surgery last year, you may feel great but who really knows until you get back into a game situation when things are kind of amped up a little bit more. I don’t think it would be smart for me or the team to risk that with all the chips we have on the table right now.”
Hammel has plenty of reason to get back on the mound — he will be able to test the free-agent waters this offseason for the first time in his career — but he said he wouldn’t rush back and risk hurting the team’s playoff chances.
“I’m also not going to be a hindrance to what the other guys are trying to do,” Hammel said. “If I’m not going out there giving what they’re expecting because something else is there behind the doors, it is what it is, I’m not going to be selfish there and continue to pitch just because I’m in a certain point in my career where it’s pretty important what I do on the field. I’m not going to worry about that right now. I know I’m not done so I can put together a pretty good stretch run and things will take care of themselves.”
Hammel said the stiffness in his forearm has affected the grip on his pitches, particularly his slider, and prevents him from extending his arm during his delivery.