Outfielder Craig Gentry suffered a nondisplaced fracture of his right middle finger, along with a laceration, on an attempted bunt in his only at-bat of the Orioles' eventual 1-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
"The specialist will see him tomorrow or Sunday, and the doctor says it's not displaced, which would be a longer term," manager Buck Showalter said after the game. "So, we'll have a better idea of how long in the next day or so when the doctor looks at him."
Gentry replaced center fielder Adam Jones in the top of the second inning after Jones was ejected in the opening frame. Gentry struck out with two on and nobody out in the third inning. It was that plate appearance that Gentry tried to lay down an 0-1 bunt on his own, and he took two more pitches before striking out swinging.
Joey Rickard replaced him in the fourth inning.
"I was talking to him in my office before I came down here," Showalter said. "It's pretty tough. He's been a big piece for us. I know y'all have gotten to see the things he does every night for us. That's a loss for us."
Recently, Showalter has described Gentry's contributions off the bench as akin to an eighth- or ninth-inning reliever in terms of how he helps the team close out games with his speed and defense. He's also had a hot bat since being added from Triple-A Norfolk on July 30. Gentry entered Friday batting .372 with a .984 OPS since returning to the majors a third time this season, and he was likely set to feature prominently with three left-handed starters coming up for the Orioles' opponents from Sunday through Tuesday.
Rickard will likely take some of that action from Gentry, and a stint on the disabled list brings back into play the three pitchers the Orioles couldn't recall Friday because they haven't served the requisite 10 days in the minors after being optioned.
Of those three pitchers, Mike Wright threw seven scoreless innings for Norfolk on Friday, eliminating him from contention. But Alec Asher last pitched Wednesday and threw only 59 pitches, making him an option for long relief Saturday. Left-hander Donnie Hart, who is the third pitcher of the ineligible trio who can now be added, faced four batters and threw 12 pitches Friday.
Putting Gentry on the disabled list would allow the Orioles to bring one of them up inside their 10-day window.
"Obviously, he's not going to be able to play for the 10 days," Showalter said. "It's just a matter of how long. But the one thing he can do is run, so you've got to weigh that against it. Once you get the splint in there and the mitt over it, he might still be able to bring that to us in 10 days. There's some moving parts there. We're going to have to see what the doctor says and see what the risk involved is. I'm sure there's going to be a period where the swelling has to go down where you don't even want to risk sliding with it, so we'll see what he says."