Showalter optimistic Hammel can return this season

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he is still optimistic that Jason Hammel can return this season to pitch for the Orioles, but the big right-hander has not tested his right knee on a mound since leaving a game Sept. 11.

“Slow. Not imminent that he moves to another step yet,” Showalter said. “Oh, sure I'm optimistic, we just haven't had anything where, ‘Hey, this feels pretty good, let's start throwing yet.' We haven't gotten the discomfort out of there yet.”

Around the horn

Miguel Gonzalez likely will start Friday's game in Boston. … Troy Patton (ankle) will pitch in another instructional league game today. He was spotty with his command Sunday, Showalter said. Patton could join the team in Boston. … Center fielder Adam Jones is one of six finalists for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, presented by the players union to a player that inspires on and off the field. … The Orioles entered Monday just 13-18 against the American League West this year but 5-1 against the Mariners. The Orioles have played .600 baseball against everyone else (69-46) besides the AL West. … The Orioles are one of two teams, along with the Chicago White Sox, with five players who have 20 or more homers this season.

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