Orioles pre-game: Hammel likely to miss tomorrow's start; Tolleson joining team

Today has turned into a wild Wednesday for the Orioles at Camden Yards.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said before today's game that it's "pretty realistic" that right-hander Jason Hammel will miss his next start tomorrow with right-knee soreness.

Hammel, one of the best early-season stories in baseball, has anchored the Orioles' starting rotation with a 4-1 ERA with 2.09 ERA in six starts. Showalter said Hammel received an MRI within the past few days that showed no structural damage and Showalter said he believes Hammel can still avoid a DL stint. 

If Hammel can't pitch, the Orioles will need to recall starter for both Thursday's and Friday's games from Triple-A Norfolk.

The Orioles have also purchased the contract of utility man Steve Tolleson from Norfolk to add depth to a suddenly ailing roster. He's scheduled to arrive later tonight.

With outfielder Nolan Reimold (neck) already on the disabled list and Endy Chavez a possible DL candidate with a lingering intercostal strain, the Orioles need to add position-player depth. Tolleson will fill the utility role that has belonged to Ryan Flaherty, who will now see more regular time in left field.

In order to make room for Tolleson on the 40-man roster, the team moved catcher Taylor Teagarden to the 60-day disabled list. To make room on the 25-man roster, they optioned left-handed reliever Zach Phillips back to Norfolk.

In 26 games at Norfolk, Tolleson had a .265/.357/.361 line with one homer and 11 RBIs. He has also committed six errors.

As for the Orioles' starting pitchers the next two days, the Orioles could recall right-hander Chris Tillman, who last pitched Sunday, or, if Chavez goes to the DL, recall right-hander Tommy Hunter, who pitched for the Orioles on Sunday in Boston and was optioned to Norfolk on Monday. Both would pitch on three days' rest. They could also start right-hander Brad Bergesen, who is slated to start Thursday for Norfolk.

As for Friday, left-hander Dana Eveland is still the likely replacement.

Here are today's lineups:

Ian Kinsler 2B
Elvis Andrus SS
Josh Hamilton LF
Adrian Beltre DH
Michael Young 1B
Nelson Cruz RF
Yorvit Torrealba C
Brandon Snyder 3B
Craig Gentry CF
Colby Lewis RHP

Ryan Flaherty LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Wilson Betemit 3B
Chris Davis 1B
Mark Reynolds 1B
Robert Andino 2B
Wei-Yin Chen LHP

Recommended on Baltimore Sun