It is still unclear whether Orioles right-hander Andrew Cashner will pitch again this season. He’s still feeling pain in his left knee, and even if that resolves itself with a few additional days of rest, he’d first have to test how he feels on his landing leg with a bullpen session before he’s cleared to return to the team’s starting rotation.
Speaking Saturday, Cashner didn’t rule out a return this season, considering himself still day-to-day, while manager Buck Showalter said the veteran’s return to the mound this year isn’t imminent.
“He’s been trying to gauge its improvement almost every day and we haven’t gotten enough to think that that’s in the near future,” Showalter said.
Cashner wants to return, realizing the Orioles end the season against three teams in position for postseason spots — the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros.
He would also make an additional $400,000 if he makes two more starts to reach 30 on the season. His incentive-laden deal has already rewarded him with $1.125 million in escalators for games started in addition to his $5 million base salary.
That might suggest how bothersome the injury has been for Cashner, whose never had a knee problem before and had pitched through neck and back injuries this season.
Cashner hasn’t pitched since Sept. 12, when he allowed eight runs in a two-inning outing against the Oakland Athletics at Camden Yards.
Harvey to see doctors
Orioles pitching prospect Hunter Harvey, 23, is scheduled to see team doctors in Baltimore on Monday to examine the root of his lingering elbow soreness.
Harvey was shelved last week while preparing for instructional league in Sarasota, Fla. He was hoping to get back into games for the first time since June, but now he’s ended another injury-plagued season with questions about his long-term health.
“It was a disappointment for Hunter,” Showalter said. “I just feel for him. He’s such a talented young man and a talented pitcher. You talk about one thing or another, it seemed like it was one thing or another. You get one physical issue kind of taken care of.”
The lingering elbow problems for Harvey, the Orioles’ first-round draft pick in 2013, are a major concern given he already had Tommy John surgery in 2016. Harvey was initially sidelined this season when he dislocated his shoulder attempting to dodge a foul ball in the dugout with Double-A Bowie. Two attempts to return have been stalled by elbow fatigue.
“We were hoping and thinking it was behind us,” Showalter said. “It was tough. We were expecting him to maybe be impacting our team the second half of the season. But that possibility is still there and to me that’s another good thing that could be on the horizon for us is Hunter getting all the issues behind him. I’m looking at it half full instead of half empty.”