It has not been a happy couple of days for Jimmy Paredes, whose attempt to show the Orioles that he can be a viable option in the outfield took a major hit when he rolled over his left wrist trying to make a play in Thursday's exhibition loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.
But the outlook has gotten progressively better since he walked off the field wondering if the wrist was broken. X-rays taken Thursday revealed no fracture and an MRI performed Friday showed no hidden bone issue or serious ligament damage, according to manager Buck Showalter, who said that there is a chance that Paredes will play again this spring.
"Yeah, compared to what it could [have been]," he said. "The big thing is no ligament [damage] and it should heal. They feel like he'll be back playing again at some point this spring. We'll see what the next couple of days brings, but it's probably about as good of news as we could hope for."
Paredes was wearing a soft cast as he met with reporters early Friday morning in Sarasota. He said he was relieved because he initially thought he had injured himself so badly that it might cost him his chance to win a place on the regular-season roster.
"It's not broken, thanks to God," Paredes said. "I don't know how long it will take for me to be ready. I'm a little sad because I came into the spring with the opportunity to make the team. We'll see later."
The Orioles hoped to take a hard look at Paredes in the outfield this spring — after he concentrated on the outfield this winter in the Dominican Republic — especially since his at-bats at designated hitter will almost certainly shrink because of the offseason addition of proven slugger Mark Trumbo.
"I tried to do the best I can to do a good job," Paredes said. "I know that's what they're looking for. I want to help the big league [team] to get a win for the city."
That's still a possibility, but it's also possible that Paredes will have to start the regular season on the disabled list.
Matusz outlook cloudy: Showalter said Friday the injury that has sidelined left-hander Brian Matusz probably would force him onto the disabled list if it happened during the regular season.
Matusz has been shut down with a serratus strain, which is in the area below the rib cage on the right side of his back.
The recovery time on that type of injury is difficult to project, but based on Showalter's comment and the fact that most muscle injuries in the trunk need to completely heal before resuming activity, it's likely that Matusz will miss at least half of the remaining exhibition schedule.
Worley comes through: It has been a rocky week for the Orioles rotation, but newcomer Vance Worley performed well Friday with two hitless innings against a pretty good lineup that would later hit three home runs in one inning to carry the Toronto Blue Jays to a 4-3 exhibition victory at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium.
That was quite a contrast to the performances of the starters in the previous two games. Ubaldo Jimenez gave up six earned runs in one-third of an inning Wednesday and Miguel Gonzalez gave up seven in 1 1/3 innings Thursday.
Worley faced seven hitters and issued just a walk, but was not totally satisfied with his effort.
"The first inning I had to find it a little bit," he said. "I was just trying to get the ball down in the zone. Knowing that lineup over there, they have some swingers. I was trying to mix it up and go in and out and up and down. Was too down today. I was just glad I had the second inning I did."
When the Orioles claimed Worley off waivers, there was an opening in the rotation. But the arrival of free agent Yovani Gallardo has filled that slot, leaving Worley to compete for a spot starter/long relief job unless something happens to reopen competition for a place in the rotation.
Either way, he said he needs to make the most of every opportunity.
"I think for me it's important," he said. "Some of these other guys not so much. For me, definitely. I'm trying to make the rotation and win a job, so I'm taking every outing as seriously as I can."
Around the horn: The Blue Jays scored all four of their runs off relief prospect Andrew Triggs, who allowed three home runs in the fourth inning. Showalter chalked a couple of them up to the stiff wind that was making the ball carry, but the moon shot by Justin Smoak probably didn't need any help. …The next four relievers — Chris Jones, Oliver Drake, Cesar Cabral and Ashur Tolliver — all delivered scoreless appearances. … The explosive Jays lineup remained explosive even though Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion were not in it Friday.