SARASOTA, FLA. — Orioles right-hander Nathan Karns being scratched from his scheduled start Friday set off alarm bells earlier this week as the team's only major league free agent dealt with arm soreness, but a bullpen session Saturday will put him on track to get back on the mound in games, he said.
Karns said Saturday that it was more a situation where he didn't recover as well as he'd want between his start Monday against the Minnesota Twins and the scheduled start Friday night against the New York Yankees. Considering how quickly he had ramped up after an elbow injury kept him out for all of 2018, he said he figured it was best to tell someone.
"I threw another bullpen after that start, and I brought it to the attention that, 'Hey, I haven't recovered as well as I'd have liked to. What are the options of maybe doing a [simulated game on the] back field?' " Karns said. "And they suggested instead of doing a back field, that we just give it a couple of days now instead of trying to push through whatever it is and make sure we're good to go from that point on."
Karns, 31, is something of a reclamation project for the Orioles, as he missed most of 2017 to have surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome in his shoulder area and then had the elbow injury in 2018. He sees a big difference in what he felt then versus now.
"It was just from the volume that we were throwing," Karns said. "I wouldn't call it fatigue, but I would say we did several bullpens, live BPs, more bullpens, then right into games. It was just kind of like — I don't even know how to describe it. It was just caught up in the volume, getting my legs under me, so to say.
"If it was scary, it'd be if something hurt. This was more of like, 'Hey, I just don't feel as recharged as I would normally after a game.' But at the same time, it's early in camp. The first time we went out there was like 50 pitches, so I'm putting definitely a lot of work in.
“It was more that we didn't have the five-day turnaround. It was like, if I'm going to go out there and try to work and get three, four innings in, I feel like I need a little more in the tank to try and go out there and compete at a high level. It's one of those things where you have to take a step back to keep moving forward."