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Early Orioles notes on Jimenez's next start, McFarland's future and Hardy's rehab

Struggling Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez is listed to make his next scheduled start on Thursday against the Boston Red Sox. But for the first time, manager Buck Showalter wasn't completely convincing in stating Jimenez's spot in the starting rotation is safe.

"He's the projected starter for Thursday," Showalter said. "We don't have an off day. It's just general practice.  I'm the projected manager for today, but who knows if that will happen. Just about everything is projected. What is it? … There's some expression that we're all day to day."

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Jimenez lasted just 1 2/3 innings, his shortest start in more than three years, allowing six runs – three unearned – in the Orioles' 11-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Saturday.

Jimenez has a 10.26 ERA over his past four starts — three of them Orioles losses — and has failed to make it out of the sixth inning in any of those games. In Jimenez's last three starts, the Orioles lost all three games by a combined score of 31-6.

McFarland scratched: Left-hander T.J. McFarland was scratched from his scheduled start for Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday as a precaution in case the Orioles need an extra bullpen arm when they return home Monday.

"Just to be on the safe side," Showalter said. "He still could pitch an inning there if he had to. Just want to make sure we're covered."

With long reliever Vance Worley accounting for 4 1/3 innings Saturday, the Orioles went into Sunday's game with little bullpen depth for their series finale in Cleveland. Showalter said there was some thought about adding McFarland for Sunday's game, but "it didn't happen."

McFarland, who was scheduled to come off the minor league disabled list to start Sunday, could still rejoin the club over the next few days. Showalter likes having both Worley and McFarland as his long-relief arms.

Hardy progressing: Shortstop J.J. Hardy, currently on the DL with a fractured bone in his left foot, is scheduled to have a CT scan on his foot Friday to determine whether the injury has completely healed, Showalter said.

Hardy is progressing. He had the boot removed from his foot and is doing weight-bearing exercises at the club's spring training home in Sarasota while the team had been on the road. If the CT scan comes back well, Hardy can begin baseball activities.

Hardy could rejoin the team at home this week or could remain in Sarasota to continue his rehab.

Notes: Showalter said pitching prospect Hunter Harvey, who is recovering from sports hernia surgery, is now throwing from 90 feet and has been doing conditioning exercises in the pool to keep pressure off his core. … Yovani Gallardo recovered well from his three-inning simulation game Saturday and is still scheduled to make his first minor league rehab assignment Thursday at high-A Frederick. He will have a work day on either Monday or Tuesday.

eencina@baltsun.com
twitter.com/EddieInTheYard

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