Notes: Bedard out until mid-July
MRI reveals left-hander's knee ligament isn't healed
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles are not expecting left-hander Erik Bedard back in the rotation until at least mid-July after an examination of his left knee showed that his strained ligament is about two weeks from being healed.Bedard, who was placed on the disabled list on May 26, said he will rehabilitate his knee "for another week or two, and probably two." An MRI of the knee showed the medical collateral ligament was still strained. "They said it's healing, but slowly healing," Bedard said. "And I expected this. Usually, sprained knee ligaments take you out for four-to-six weeks. So this is not a surprise." Bedard said he will wait until the knee is entirely healed before he begins pitching off a mound. He has been keeping his arm sharp by throwing off flat ground. "There's no reason not to wait," he said. "If I go out there earlier and I mess it up again, I will be out even longer. So it makes no sense to come back early." The club projected Bedard to miss two to three starts, but that has transformed into six weeks. Some in the organization are privately wondering when Bedard will return and if he will be at the level he was when he was injured. The left-hander was on a dominant streak, going 3-0 with a 1.24 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 29 innings in May. Bedard said he had been pitching during that stretch in great pain, and an MRI revealed the strained ligament. Bedard is working out with a knee brace, but even when he is healthy, he will have to make at least two rehab starts to regain his arm strength. "We'll wait until the pain is gone and he feels like going out there again," executive vice president Jim Beattie said. "Some of these things have a life of their own. We thought it might be a couple of starts, and it took longer than that. It's going to be at least two weeks before he gets back on the mound." The Orioles have replaced Bedard in the rotation with rookie Hayden Penn, who collected three no-decisions before earning his first Major League win on Monday night against the Astros. Matching numbers: Jay Gibbons hit his 10th home run of the season in Monday's win, and the mark was unnoticed by everyone except him. The left-handed slugger took just 56 games to match his season home run total from last season. Gibbons suffered through a miserable season in 2004, when he hit 10 homers with 47 RBIs. He was limited to 97 games because of hip and back injuries. "I wasn't hitting with any power last season," Gibbons said. "I had no torque, because I was just not myself. But this season reminds me what I can do when I am hitting and also hitting well -- because at the beginning of last season, I wasn't hurt and I was still struggling." The difference between Gibbons' performance this year and last year is slugging percentage and doubles. He is hitting for a .528 slugging percentage, compared to .379 last season. He already has more doubles (16) than in 2004 (14).
|Luis Matos / CF|
Weight: 210 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R
Gary Washburn is a reporter for MLB.com. David Selig contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.