SEATTLE - Orioles center fielder Adam Jones hobbled out of the visiting clubhouse yesterday at Safeco Field with a walking boot on his left foot and questions about when he'll return to the team's lineup.
Jones, who has been dealing with a sore right ankle since late last month, fouled Felix Hernandez's pitch off his left foot Saturday in the fifth inning of the Orioles' 3-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners. He remained in the game, but he woke up yesterday morning in significant pain.
X-rays taken yesterday were inconclusive, manager Dave Trembley said, and Jones will have a CT scan taken on his foot today in Anaheim, Calif., where the team begins a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels.
"It's not comfortable. I'd be able to play if it was comfortable," said Jones, who sat out yesterday's game after getting three hits the previous day. "I had it taped yesterday after it happened, but I woke up and I couldn't walk."
Trembley, who said before yesterday's 8-4 loss that Jones was available as a late-inning defensive replacement before learning of the X-ray results, acknowledged that he was concerned about Jones. The outfielder, who turned 23 on Friday, has had a strong first season with the Orioles, hitting .279 with seven homers and 50 RBIs in 108 games.
"I'm concerned, but I'm not smart enough to know whether it's a long-term injury or not," said Trembley, whose starting left fielder, Luke Scott, is also dealing with a sore Achilles tendon. "I'd be concerned because he wasn't able to play today."
Asked whether he was frustrated, Jones said: "I was basically icing it all day. It's just uncomfortable. My right ankle felt like this the other day, so hopefully I can bounce back as quick as I did the other time. It's part of the game. It [stinks]."
Waters on the way?
It appears that another freak incident will cost Hayden Penn a chance to join the Orioles' rotation. Two seasons ago, Penn needed an emergency appendectomy on the eve of what would have been his first start for the Orioles of the 2006 campaign. Last season, he missed more than three months after having bone chips removed from his right elbow.
Penn had been one of the leading candidates to face the Angels tomorrow night before he was cut in the leg by a piece of a broken bat during his start Saturday with Triple-A Norfolk. The incident happened on the first Richmond batter Penn faced. Penn faced six more hitters, getting only two of them out, before leaving the game. Trembley said Penn needed "one stitch" for the wound in the back of his leg.
Though Trembley said yesterday that Penn hasn't been ruled out, it's expected that the Orioles will turn to left-hander Chris Waters, who is 3-6 with a 5.70 ERA for Triple-A Norfolk. In his previous start, Waters, 27, allowed one hit Thursday over seven scoreless innings. In six starts last month, Waters went 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA.