HOUSTON — Orioles center fielder Adam Jones was out of starting lineup for a second consecutive game in Sunday's series finale against the Houston Astros, but manager Buck Showalter said he expected Jones to start when the Orioles open a nine-game homestand Monday afternoon against the New York Yankees.
Jones is still dealing with a nagging sore left ankle and hip he hurt chasing a ball a week and a half ago in Detroit, an injury that has come and gone, and which Showalter believes had begun to affect Jones at the plate.
"He's doing well," Showalter said. "He's getting better. Could have pushed the envelope today if we wanted to. I expect him to be back in the lineup starting tomorrow if he continues to feel like he does today. … I know [head athletic trainer] Richie [Bancells] said he's making good progress."
There are no plans for Jones to have an X-ray or any other tests, Showalter said.
Jones was out of the starting lineup for the third time this season Sunday, but Showalter said he could be available off the bench.
"We hope that keeps it from being a DL thing," Showalter said of the time off. "But there's a lot of wear and tear. You talk about good- tissue and bad-tissue guys, they're talking about their healing from the wear and tear. Adam's good and usually he responds well to things like that. He hasn't had much need for it, but some days after the game, you wonder how he's going to feel the next day, but he comes bouncing out and he feels good. … But if it continues down that road, we'll know it's something a little bit deeper."
Orioles add Verrett, option Wilson
The Orioles recalled right-hander Logan Verrett from Triple-A Norfolk before Sunday's game and optioned right-hander Tyler Wilson back to the Tides.
Verrett served as a valuable multiple-inning reliever in two previous stints with the Orioles this season, earning two wins in extra innings. On April 30, he pitched two scoreless innings in an 11-inning, 7-4 victory at Yankee Stadium, and he threw three scoreless innings in a 5-4 home win over the Washington Nationals in 12 innings.
Verrett's reward for both outings was a trip back to Norfolk the following day to replenish the bullpen.
Wilson has struggled of late. After pitching a scoreless sixth inning Saturday night, he allowed the first three batters to reach and yielded a run in the seventh. Over his past two relief outings, Wilson has allowed seven runs — five earned.
"He's making a lot of mistakes up in the zone, which is not his forte," Showalter said. "He's not an overpowering guy, but when he has his command, he can make some contributions. But a lot of up breaking balls. Just command hasn't been there. He's got some collapse on his back leg a little bit that makes him work under the ball. He's aware of it."
Showalter said he believed that Wilson would join the Norfolk rotation, which would give the club six starters — Wilson, Mike Wright, Gabriel Ynoa, Chris Lee, Jordan Kipper and recently optioned Jayson Aquino.
"They're leaning toward going with six," Showalter said. "They want to get the ball in Aquino's hand and get Ynoa going again. I know Kipper's doing well. They'll probably go with six."
In considering the stable of available optionable pitchers to provide bullpen length, the Orioles have been focused on keeping in Norfolk some of their younger arms — such as Lee and Ynoa, as well as Aquino, who was optioned Saturday to pave a return for the left-handed Donnie Hart.
"We'd like to," Showalter said. "We want to get Aquino back in the rotation. [Aquino and Ynoa] especially are still pretty young guys. And we've got Chris down there, too, so you'd like to get that continuity down there if we can cooperate up here. … It's early in the season. You're hoping that it kind of shakes out and settles in. If we can be a little more consistent with our starting pitching, we can do that. That's what drives a lot of it."
Around the horn
Designated hitter Mark Trumbo, who homered in the eighth inning Sunday, has 155 home runs since 2012, which is ninth most over that stretch. … Former Orioles outfielder Nolan Reimold has retired, according to a tweet from Long Island Ducks general manager Michael Pfaff. Reimold, 33, was playing for the independent league Ducks, hitting .238 with four doubles, two homers and seven RBIs in 19 games. In a corresponding roster move, the Ducks re-signed former Oriole Lew Ford as an outfielder and bench coach. ... Showalter said Double-A Bowie outfielder Cedric Mullins, who has been in Sarasota rehabilitating a hamstring injury, is close to returning from the minor league DL but must first play in back-to-back games in extended spring training.