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O's Notebook: Hammel nearing return from injury

BALTIMORE - Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter hasn't committed to what Jason Hammel's role will be when he is reactivated. But whether he is a starter or reliever, the Orioles right-hander is continuing to get closer to being ready.
On Friday, Hammel threw off a mound for the first time since receiving a cortisone injection in the flexor mass muscle in his right forearm on August 9. Hammel threw 45 pitches off the mound and will do the same Sunday.
He said he was pleased with how the session went.
"It went real well," Hammel said. "It felt great. I felt the extension that I was looking for that I didn't have before, so outstanding."
If Hammel still feels good after he throws Sunday, he is expected to go on a make two appearances on a rehab stint. Showalter said the first will be a start, but the second appearance may be as a reliever.
However it goes, Showalter said he will determine what Hammel's role will be when the time comes.
"There's some things that could change up here which dictates that he needs to come back in a certain role," Showalter said. "We could have a need here."
Hammel struggled for most of the season prior to his injury, going 7-8 with a 5.20 ERA in 21 starts. He is winless in his 10 starts since May 27. Showalter said he thinks Hammel will be more like his 2012 form when he returns.
"Ham's got some things going for him," Showalter said. "He's healthy coming back, we think, and rested and been very cautious with it."
MINORS TRADE: The Orioles traded right-handed pitcher Freddy Garcia to the Atlanta Braves Friday for cash considerations. The 36-year-old was 3-5 with a 5.77 ERA in 11 appearances with Baltimore earlier in the season.
For Class-AAA Norfolk, Garcia was 8-3 with a 2.84 ERA in 13 starts this year. If the Orioles would've wanted to bring the veteran up in September, they would have had to added him to the 40-man roster.
Showalter said the move was to give Garcia a chance to pitch in the majors again.
"It was kind of an ethical thing," Showalter said. "Freddy's going to be in the big leagues with them. And we weren't sure if that's where we were going to go in September."
HOMER CITY: The next home run Orioles catcher Matt Wieters hit will be his 20th of the season. He will be the fourth Baltimore player to have 20 or more home runs this season.
If Wieters is able to do that, the Orioles will be the first team since 1921 to have their catcher, shortstop (J.J. Hardy), and center fielder (Adam Jones) each hit 20 homers in three straight seasons.
Chris Davis' 46th home run of the season Wednesday night was his 25th homer at Camden Yards this season. That tied him with Rafael Palmeiro for the most home runs hit at Camden Yards in a single season.
Davis also has 21 home runs against AL East opponents this season, the most by any player against his division this season.
FALLEN HERO: Manchester Valley girls lacrosse coach Shelly Brezicki threw out the first pitch Friday night as part of "Hero Night Out." The fundraiser was set up to honor Brezicki's brother, Gene Kirchner.
Kirchner was a Reisterstown volunteer firefighter who died from injuries he suffered April 24 while battling a house fire. The Reisterstown Volunteer Fire Company sold tickets to Friday's game for 15 dollars, with some of the proceeds going to the Gene Kirchner Memorial Fund.

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