The remainder of Orioles infielder-outfielder Steve Pearce’s season is now in question after he was shut down indefinitely by the club following his visit with well-known orthopedist Dr. David Altchek on Wednesday morning in New York for a setback earlier this week with his right arm.
Pearce received a platelet-rich plasma injection in his throwing forearm near his elbow area Wednesday after seeing Altchek, the New York Mets medical director, which will shelve him for the next several days. But Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he’s optimistic that Pearce will be able to contribute again in some way this season.
“If my memory serves me right, it’s two or three days, but everybody is a little different with it,” Showalter said. “They found what they thought they would find. … I’m optimistic he will be able to do some things for us this season.”
Pearce felt pain in his elbow area after making a throw to second base in the first inning of the Orioles’ 12-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. He aggravated a flexor mass strain he suffered making a throw from the outfield on Aug. 7 in Chicago that forced him to miss nearly a week and prevented him from playing the outfield for about two weeks.
Showalter wouldn’t disclose any more specifics of Pearce’s injury Wednesday. Pearce received a cortisone injection in August, and Wednesday’s PRP injection indicates that Pearce and the club are attempting to get him through the season before considering surgery.
Flexor mass strains can be serious injuries, and sometimes are precursors to elbow reconstruction procedures, more commonly known as Tommy John surgery.
Pearce was able to manage through the problem until Monday, but it is obvious that his injury has become worse as it now is affecting his ability to swing. On Tuesday, Showalter said Pearce struggled to even open a drawer with his right arm.
“We’ll let it run its course and see if he’ll be available to us at some point,” Showalter said. “In what capacity, we’re not sure. We’re not going to do anything until the season’s over with anything he may have. So we’ll try to rehab it and get him back on the field.”
Janish joining team, Rickard’s return on horizon
Utility man Paul Janish joined the club Wednesday in Boston and will likely have his contract selected Thursday. Janish was part of a group of players working out in Sarasota, Fla., in case there was a need for additional call-ups.
“Stevie [Pearce] was more coverage for us at second base and third base, so that’s why we wanted to get Paul here,” Showalter said.
Showalter said that outfielder Joey Rickard, who has been on the disabled list since late July with a right thumb injury, is scheduled to be activated from the 60-day DL on Monday. He will play in three simulated games in Sarasota this weekend before returning.
The club considered recalling Dariel Alvarez or Christian Walker, but decided to wait until Rickard is scheduled to be ready Monday to fill their need for an extra outfielder. The Orioles have several outfield options: Michael Bourn and Hyun Soo Kim from the left side of the plate, and Nolan Reimold and Drew Stubbs from the right side. Slugger Mark Trumbo, who has played right field most of the season, made his fourth straight start at designated hitter on Wednesday.
Utility man Ryan Flaherty started in left field against Boston Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello. Flaherty, who made his first start since Aug. 11, is hitting .545 (6-for-11) with one homer in his career against Porcello and is a .337 (28-for-83) hitter at Fenway Park.
“Just kind of coming into the series, I knew I wanted to get him out there against a right-handed starter and it worked out well,” Showalter said.
Sunday starter TBD
Showalter said Sunday’s starter against the Tampa Bay Rays is still to be determined. It would be left-hander Wade Miley’s turn in a six-man rotation.
“We’re taking in a lot of information,” Showalter said. “I met with Dylan [Bundy] today, talked to [Chris] Tillman today, see how everybody’s feeling. See how guys do, how they feel and we’ll put our best foot forward Sunday.”
Around the horn
Orioles center fielder Adam Jones will receive the Orioles’ Roberto Clemente Award before Thursday’s game. The award is given to one player from each team who “best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.” One major league winner is selected from the 30 club winners. … Orioles third baseman Manny Machado was the Orioles’ nominee for this year’s Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, which is given annually by the player’s union to a player who “game in and game out – constantly exhibits grit, tenacity, perseverance and hustle, all for the benefit of his teammates and fans.” Jones won last year’s award, which was voted on by fellow players. Deciding this year’s award will include fan balloting at MLBPlayers.com.