Center fielder Adam Jones was not in Sunday's starting lineup, which should not come as a surprise to anyone considering the unpredictable nature of the injury that will keep him on the bench for the third straight game.
The club has been referring to it as a rib cage strain and presenting it as a day-to-day thing. That's because there's really no way to know when the last soreness will subside and the risk of reinjury will be acceptable.
"Any time you're dealing with that area, it's such an unknown,'' manager Buck Showalter said. "It's so tough, because you don't want to test it all the time and never give it a chance to (heal). My experience has been that there's no consistency with that. We all know what it is if you pull it all the way."
One of the scariest words when baseball players are dealing with a trunk injury is "oblique," because a full oblique strain can require a month or more to recover, but Showalter said that the medical staff doesn't believe it is anything that severe.
"They don't really think it is an oblique,'' he said. "He's got one little spot there, one little movement at the end where he feels it just a little bit. We're trying to get that resolved. I'm told, talking to him and the trainers, that that's close, but I'm not going to push it. It's a concern because one of our best players is not playing, but it's close, I think."
The club obviously hopes Jones will not have to be placed on the disabled list. That can be done retroactively up to 10 days, and it appears the Orioles will wait as long as possible to avoid losing him for 15 days.