09/29/10 7:30 PM ET
Arrieta to avoid surgery after second opinion
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
Arrieta -- who made his last start Sept. 14 after setting a new career high in innings pitched -- said Yocum's diagnosis was the same as team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens.
"They said with the way it has been acting -- it hasn't bothered me -- he basically said there's no reason to do anything if you are able to throw effectively," said Arrieta, who has maintained that he has never been in any pain or discomfort from the spur.
Arrieta was also told by Yocum that having a bone spur is relatively common, and the 24-year-old was relieved he can avoid surgery, however minor the procedure, given that he has never had any health concerns.
"I've had [the problem] for a long time, and you never know with surgery," said Arrieta, who also spoke with Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail about his decision. "Anything can happen, even though it's minor. I think this is the best thing to do."
The Orioles were looking into the preventative measure given that Arrieta was already done for the season and it would be a few weeks of rehab at most. MacPhail said on Wednesday that the organization was fine with Arrieta's decision.
Simon's suspension reduced by one game
ST. PETERSBURG -- Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon's suspension was reduced from three games to two, and the right-hander will begin serving his punishment during Wednesday's series finale against the Rays.
Simon appealed the original ruling handed down from Major League Baseball on Monday afternoon, which stemmed from Sunday's incident in Toronto when Simon was ejected after hitting Jose Bautista in the fifth inning.
The Blue Jays took offense to their slugger being plunked, particularly given that the hard-throwing Simon is usually reserved for the later innings. Orioles manager Buck Showalter, who served his one-game suspension on Monday, said that Simon was used earlier due to the O's shortage of right-handed arms in the 'pen for that game.
Both Simon and Showalter were tossed from that game and were also fined undisclosed amounts as part of their punishment. Simon will be eligible to return on Saturday for the final two games of the season.
Showalter won't let O's coaches dangle
ST. PETERSBURG -- While Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he would "be shocked" if there is any official decision concerning next season's coaching staff before the World Series concludes, Showalter won't have the current coaching staff sitting around pondering their future for four weeks.
Sometime this weekend -- over the course of a four-game season finale set against the Tigers -- Showalter will sit down with each member of the O's coaching staff to let them know where things stand and what direction he's leaning.
"[I want to] give them a heads up about what our thinking is, what the time frame is going to be," said Showalter, who added that leaving the current staff intact is still a possibility. "I wouldn't dare let [them] leave here without some idea."
Showalter had high praise for a group that includes pitching coach Rick Kranitz, hitting coach Terry Crowley, bench coach Jeff Datz, third-base coach Gary Allenson, first-base coach John Shelby and bullpen coach Alan Dunn, for their hard work and professionalism in a season in which they were faced with three different managers. The new O's skipper -- announced at a news conference on Aug. 2 and signed through 2013 -- Showalter said he will take all factors of the season into account when he makes his decision. He doesn't want it to be a case where certain members of the staff are penalized for not having a previous relationship with him.
"Hopefully in the next month of October, we will have a clearer idea of what we're working with and see what the fit would be with the needs of our players," Showalter said. "But I can certainly see why they were hiring [these coaches] and why they were thought well of. And they are thought well of."
The Orioles' late-season surge, which includes a 30-22 mark since Showalter arrived, also figures to lend credence toward the current staff, who -- with the exception of Allenson, who was promoted with Dave Trembley's dismissal -- all served under Trembley and interim skipper Juan Samuel.
Roberts misses second game with headache
ST. PETERSBURG -- Leadoff man Brian Roberts was out of Wednesday's lineup for the second consecutive game with a headache, and manager Buck Showalter said Roberts will see a doctor on Thursday in Baltimore.
"They talked about taking some tests and eliminating some things and making sure what we're dealing with," Showalter said of Roberts' headaches, which caused him to be a late scratch for Tuesday's game.
"He's day to day," Showalter added. "I know we've got some weather issues [in Baltimore on Thursday]. It might be able to buy another day if it's still an issue."
Roberts missed 3 1/2 months with a herniated disc in his lower back, and since snapping an initial 0-for-11 stretch, he has picked up right where he left off. Roberts has hit safely in seven of his past eight games and had a 25-game on-base streak from Aug. 16-Sept. 15. He is batting .278 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 59 games.
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.