Saturday's frigid weather was a factor in shortstop J.J. Hardy and center fielder Adam Jones being out of the Orioles starting lineup for a second and third straight night, respectively.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said before the Orioles' home game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday – when temperatures at Camden Yards are expected to be in the 30s with a wind chill in the 20s – that both were doing better after missing Friday's game.
Showalter said it was possible that both players could be back in the starting lineup Sunday as the temperatures increase.
"I'll never say never on it," Showalter said. "It's a quick turnaround, but what is it, 51 [degrees] tomorrow so far? … I will feel better about them tomorrow than I do now. If it's 70 degrees, I'd probably lean toward playing them today and tomorrow. We'll see how tomorrow goes."
Hardy, who felt tightness in his left calf muscle while on the base paths Thursday following a 21-minute rain delay, said he hopes to test calf before Sunday's game and was optimistic he'd be able to play.
"I think I've been pretty cautious with just yesterday and today," Hardy said. "I hope that's all we need. … [It is] much better. I think walking around helped. I think I probably could get it going tonight and play, but with the cold, I think everyone's kind of scratching that, and I hope I'll be good to go tomorrow."
Hardy, who missed time last year with back and side injuries and also played the entire season with a torn labrum in his nonthrowing shoulder, said he believes he caught this injury early enough to make sure it doesn't linger.
"It's annoying," Hardy said. "I don't think it was ever at that point, so if it was worse, or I thought it was worse, then I would have been thinking that. But I don't think it was that bad, and I think we got ahead of it, with two games. Maybe I'll get in there tomorrow."
Other items of interest:
- Right-hander Kevin Gausman (shoulder tendinitis) was set to make his first rehabilitation start tonight with Double-A Bowie, but that game was postponed because of cold weather, so he will pitch for the Baysox on Saturday afternoon instead. Gausman is scheduled to go three innings or 45 pitches.
"I wasn't too excited about just pitching in cold weather and having it be a rehab start," Gausman said. "So I would probably rather prefer pitching tomorrow. It's just kind of a smarter thing to do. But yeah, I feel good. My delivery feels good. My delivery feels great. My bullpens down in Sarasota have been great, so I feel good."
That also means his next start — a scheduled five-inning outing — will be pushed back to Friday at High-A Frederick. That would put him in line to return from the disabled list to start for the Orioles on April 20.
"I think the biggest question mark is going to be when I can sit down for an inning, get up and then sit back down," Gausman said. "You sit down and get up five times, that's kind of a big test for a pitcher. Hopefully it reacts good. Right now, I'm still on track for when I'm supposed to come back."
- Left-hander Brian Matusz (lower back strain) made back-to-back one-inning rehab relief appearances at Bowie on Thursday and Friday, but Showalter said the team might give Matusz one more rehab outing Monday. It would likely be a two- or three-inning outing.
"We're trying to get him to the same innings under his belt that he normally has," Showalter said. "He's one outing away from that."
Matusz could return to the club by the middle of next week.
- Showalter said right-hander Vance Worley would be on a pitch limit when he makes his debut Sunday when he starts against the Rays. Worley hasn't pitched since April 1 during the Orioles' exhibition in Philadelphia, and he only threw two innings before his outing was ended by a rain delay.
Worley also wasn't stretched out much in spring training. Out of his eight spring appearances spanning 16 2/3 innings, he went more than 2 1/3 innings just once – a 3 1/3-inning outing against the Boston Red Sox on March 17.
"We have got a number in mind, but we're not going to be held prisoner by it," Showalter said.