09/02/10 11:23 PM ET
Jones gets cortisone shot in ailing shoulder
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
Jones, who got the shot on the top of his shoulder, said he's a fast healer and was hopeful he would get in Saturday's game, although much of his timetable will be dictated by how his shoulder responds on Friday.
Jones exited Wednesday's game prior to his seventh-inning at-bat, and said on Thursday afternoon that the discomfort in his upper back/shoulder region is more intense and in a slightly different area than where he was hit last week. Jones took a pitch from White Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd to the left shoulder blade on Aug. 24 and missed the following five games with lingering soreness. Wednesday's injury came on a swing in his fourth-inning at-bat, and the tightness didn't go away, forcing him from the game with an elevated level of discomfort.
"Before, it was just kind of sore. This is actual pain," said Jones, who consulted with the team's doctors before deciding to go with the cortisone injection.
"It's annoying how much time I've missed. I don't even want to miss another day. It's annoying. It's a long year. We've got one more month, and something stupid like this throws everything else. It [stinks]."
Jones isn't the only O's outfielder banged up. Corey Patterson has been getting treatment on his neck and shoulder area and has been dealing with lingering effects from a pair of collisions with the wall, one in Anaheim and one in the previous series against the White Sox. Patterson said prior to Thursday's game he might be available to pinch-run if necessary, and he was inserted as a pinch-hitter, tasked to lay down a sacrifice bunt, in the ninth inning. Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Patterson was limited to just bunting, but his injury is less serious than Jones, whose status remains unclear heading into Friday's three-game set with Tampa Bay.
"We'll take it day-to-day and hope for improvements," Showalter said of Jones, who is batting .276 with 17 homers and 55 RBIs in 125 games.
"We'll see what he can bring and what [contributions] he might be able to make, but we'll be cautious with it."
In Jones' place, Felix Pie started in center field, with Nolan Reimold, who was recalled prior to Wednesday's game, making his first Major League start in left field since May 11.
Orioles not ready to shut down Simon yet
BALTIMORE -- Manager Buck Showalter said the Orioles haven't spoken in "definitive terms" about shutting down struggling reliever Alfredo Simon for the season.
"It's more location now," Showalter said of Simon, who has pitched to a 7.32 ERA in 17 games since the All-Star break. "He had as good a fastball [Wednesday] night as he's had since I've been here. He just had everything up. It's something we'll continue to monitor, but we haven't gotten there with him yet."
Simon underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on May 5, 2009, and he was immediately thrust into the closer role due to injuries to Michael Gonzalez and Jim Johnson in less than a year. The Orioles purchased Simon's contract from Triple-A Norfolk on April 27, and the right-hander recorded his first career save against the Yankees that night, going on to pitch to a 3.24 ERA in the first half of the season. But he has struggled mightily lately, allowing a homer in five of his last eight appearances, and giving up three earned runs to the Red Sox over 1 2/3 innings Wednesday night.
"Sometimes it's just not making good pitches," Showalter said. "I'm not going to throw out everything [Simon] did the first half, three-quarters of the season and realize that there's better than what he's shown. ... [Shutting him down] really hasn't come into consideration yet."
Brian Matusz is the first Orioles to be named Rookie of the Month since Nolan Reimold (June 2009) and the first Oriole pitcher to win the award since Rodrigo Lopez (July 2002). ... David Hernandez (left ankle sprain) is expected to join Double-A Bowie this weekend to throw an inning against Richmond. ... Bowie outfielder Xavier Avery has been added to the Scottsdale roster for the Arizona Fall League, bringing the Orioles' total to nine. ... Manager Buck Showalter watched the highlights of Wednesday's Nationals-Marlins bench-clearing fracas, which started when Washington outfielder Nyjer Morgan charged pitcher Chris Volstad, and said he can see both sides. "Like [Nationals manager Jim Riggleman] said, he would deem something you wouldn't want to accept, but other parts of it [you could]," Showalter said. "It's a tough game played by passionate men that want to defend their ground, so to speak, on certain issues, and there is always two sides of that. And when something gets to that point, there's usually both groups somewhat in the right and both groups somewhat in the wrong. And that's why you settle it in different manners."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.