An MRI performed Wednesday on Andrew Cashner’s ailing back revealed no structural damage, and the Orioles right-hander expects to be able to reclaim his rotation spot early next week.
“It went good,” Cashner said of the MRI. “I mean, definitely, my back started just cramping up my last start. It’s a mild strain, but I think I can be able to make my next start.”
Cashner said he began to feel back spasms before his most recent start Friday night in Toronto. Cashner allowed 11 base runners and three runs over a six-inning outing in a 5-1 loss to the Blue Jays.
“It started before the game, and I tried to get it to work out, and I just couldn’t get it to free up and then I think as the game went on, I had no command, and I was just kind of grinding through it,” Cashner said.
Cashner said the problem didn’t improve over the next 24 hours, putting his next start, which was scheduled for Wednesday, in jeopardy.
“I was having real bad spasms, and I didn’t really know,” Cashner said. “And the next day, I was just extremely sore and then it just transpired into coming home and it hadn’t really freed up, so I started feel better today.”
He went on the DL on Tuesday, and the Orioles called up rookie right-hander Yefry Ramirez to fill his spot Wednesday. Ramirez allowed three runs on four hits over 4 1/3 innings while striking out six and walking one.
Cashner, who said he’s never had a back problem before, is eligible to return from the DL on Tuesday when the Orioles open a three-game interleague series in Washington, and because the Orioles have days off Thursday and Monday, he would miss only one start if he returns then.
Manager Buck Showalter said Wednesday that the possibility of Cashner being ready by his DL date “looks good right now.”
“I’ve got a bullpen I think this weekend sometime,” Cashner said. “Today’s probably the best day I’ve had yet, so looking forward to getting some more acupuncture tomorrow and see where we end from there.”
Around the horn
With a two-hit game Wednesday, first baseman Trey Mancini is hitting .306 (34-for-111) in his career against Boston. … Third baseman Danny Valencia extended his hitting streak to six games with a fourth-inning single. He’s hit safely in 16 of his past 19 games dating to May 13.