09/23/08 6:15 PM ET
Guthrie has one more hurdle to clear
Wednesday's simulated game could mean one more start
By Amanda Comak / MLB.com
Guthrie hasn't pitched in a game since Aug. 29, when he allowed seven earned runs to the Rays in three innings.
"He says he feels real good, he says he feels 100 percent," said manager Dave Trembley. "He'll throw three innings [Wednesday] and then, if he feels good coming out of that, he would probably start either Saturday or Sunday. That's kind of the plan with him."
Guthrie, who has been sidelined with the effects of a tired arm, has been itching to get back in the rotation since the start of the month but has seen his return delayed more than once as the Orioles continue to proceed with caution with their most valuable arm.
"If this was May and I was hurt, I'd want to come back as quickly as possible," Guthrie said. "Even though it's the end of the season ... it just so happens that I'll get one start ... and then the season's over. But if it was May, my goal would still be to come back as quickly as possible. So it's not necessarily [as much] insistence as it is the season isn't over, so you just treat every day the same and work and try to get back on the field."
Last year, the right-hander was put in a similar situation when he suffered a strained left oblique as the season was nearing its end. He was shut down for most of the month of September and came back to make one start before the season concluded. Guthrie said Tuesday that pattern is something he's hoping to avoid as his career progresses.
"I was hoping to make more than one start so that it didn't resemble as much as last year," he said. "I'm hoping to avoid that trend in the future, but it doesn't factor into anything that I do. I just want to be prepared and try to get back healthy. It just so happens that this time, trying to get back healthy runs me into a roadblock, which is the end of the season."
Guthrie, who was the Orioles' Opening Day starter this season, said he and the team's training staff are confident that his coming back to make a final start this season would not risk future injury since there is nothing structurally wrong with his arm. If all goes according to plan, Guthrie's final start of the season will come against the Blue Jays this weekend, possibly in the final game of the season.
And as the Orioles inched closer to a return date for Guthrie, Trembley said that fellow right-hander Daniel Cabrera was looking into a second opinion on the right medial elbow sprain that forced him onto the disabled list and effectively ended his season last week. Cabrera struggled with both his control and his velocity -- which took a very noticeable dip in the final few weeks of the season. It was not known when or with whom Cabrera was seeking a second opinion.
"I think the rule of thumb with a lot of these situations is these guys just like to get another opinion from another doctor, and they're certainly entitled to do that," Trembley said. "I really don't know anything more than that."
Amanda Comak is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.