05/11/12 7:27 PM ET
Flaherty gets another start thanks to versatility
By Jeff Seidel and Greg Luca / Special to MLB.com
Flaherty will be making his third start of the season at third base for the Orioles in Friday's game against the Rays. He's started at second and third base plus left and right fields.
That's why he keeps so many gloves in his locker.
"I'm just trying to go out there and play hard and help this team win," Flaherty said. "It's a different position, and each position presents a different challenge."
Flaherty said he regularly takes grounders at second, third and shortstop to stay ready if called upon to play there.
The Orioles picked him from the Cubs in the Rule 5 draft last winter, and while Flaherty is batting .194, he's starting to produce offensively. He hit his first Major League homer on Thursday, leading off the first game of the doubleheader versus the Rangers.
But his versatility is something that manager Buck Showalter values, as the skipper is moving a lot of people to a lot of spots this season.
Eveland gets call after strong start in minors
BALTIMORE -- With all that happens over the course of a Spring Training schedule, it can be easy to forget someone like Dana Eveland, the Orioles starter for Friday night.
While all of the talk centered on Jake Arrieta's return from offseason elbow surgery and a resurgent Brian Matusz, Eveland impressed manager Buck Showalter this spring, posting a 3.46 ERA over 13 innings.
"Very quietly, after his first outing or so, he pitched real well in the spring," Showalter said.
That, plus Eveland's 3-2 start with a 2.21 ERA with Triple-A Norfolk, made him the O's selection to earn Friday's start.
Showalter said pitching coach Rick Adair had Eveland make a few adjustments toward the end of the spring, and that the results have carried over to the first few weeks of the season, when Eveland has been Norfolk's best pitcher.
Showalter added that a key to Eveland's game is the ability to induce ground balls.
Eveland has been with eight different teams during his 10-year career, posting a 19-24 record with a 5.52 ERA in the Majors.
"He's going to attack the zone, and he's going to eat up innings and make guys get out," said catcher Luis Exposito, who caught Eveland at Norfolk. "He pitches to contact, and I think his mechanics are really good."
Matt Wieters, who caught Eveland on Friday, said their time working together during Spring Training was beneficial in preparing for Eveland's first Major League start of the year.
Wieters had already seen each of Eveland's pitches -- fastball, slider, curveball and changeup -- and knew what he liked to throw in a given count.
"It's nice to get comfortable and in a groove with a guy, and you can do that throughout the course of a season," Wieters said. "But, at the same time, you can get in a groove with a guy in the course of an inning if you really get on the same page."
Hammel reports improvement in knee
BALTIMORE -- Orioles starter Jason Hammel said he's seen a significant decrease in the swelling and fluid in his sore right knee, adding that he hopes to throw off the mound on Saturday with the goal of pitching Monday or Tuesday.
Although he and manager Buck Showalter both noted that those plans are tentative, Hammel said he was optimistic about his chances of pitching early next week.
"I feel pretty good about it," Hammel said. "Unfortunately, it's not always up to me."
Hammel was scratched from his Thursday start to rest the knee with the goal of treating the problem now so that it doesn't linger throughout the season.
He said the knee first started to become an issue after his April 25 start against Toronto and progressively worsened with each of his next two outings.
Hammel, who is 4-1 with a 2.09 ERA this season, said that just walking around causes him pain at certain points.
"Stairs, they aren't fun," Hammel said. "But it's getting a lot better. There's really no sharp pain or anything. It's just very, very restricted movement. So that's improvement."
Wada undergoes elbow surgery
BALTIMORE -- Tsuyoshi Wada and Nolan Reimold both underwent medical procedures on Friday.
Wada had left elbow ligament replacement surgery with Dr. Lewis Yocum, and Reimold had a epidural injection in his spine to help treat the bulging disk that put him on the disabled list.
The Orioles released a statement late Friday afternoon from Wada, who will be starting rehab in Florida. The team hasn't confirmed a start date for that yet.
"The procedure went as planned, and Dr. Yocum felt good about how it went. He predicts a full recovery. I'm glad to have this over with and look forward to beginning my rehabilitation so I can get back to pitching for the Orioles as soon as possible," Wada said in the statement.
Reimold had the epidural around 9 a.m. Friday. He's eligible to come off the disabled list May 16, but manager Buck Showalter said that doesn't appear to be a good possibility.
Zach Britton continues his rehab in Sarasota. Showalter said he's throwing on the 15th and then again on the 20th or 21st, depending upon the schedule in Florida.
Showalter also said that it doesn't look like either Britton or Brian Roberts would be shifted over to the 60-day disabled list as the team hopes both players could improve.
Lindstrom placed on DL with finger injury
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles placed right-hander Matt Lindstrom on the 15-day disabled list because of an injury to his right middle finger and selected the contract of left-hander Dana Eveland. He was the starter for Friday's game with the Rays.
Manager Buck Showalter said Lindstrom is scheduled to have an MRI after an examination with Dr. John Wilckins on Friday revealed a significant injury.
"After examining him, [he] said it would be a while, at least the DL period," Showalter said. "Until we get the reports back, I'm not going to project it."
Lindstrom has a 1.29 ERA and has struck out 14 in 13 games. He gave up three runs, two of which were earned, in Thursday's loss to the Rangers, in the nightcap of a doubleheader -- the first time he's given up an earned run this season.
Although Lindstrom was examined by team trainers in the dugout after his outing, he downplayed the significance of the injury following the game.
"I kind of felt a pop on it on one of my two-seam fastballs," Lindstrom said Thursday. "But it's nothing serious at all, just a little soreness in my middle finger. It's fine."
Lindstrom has struggled with injuries throughout the 2012 season, dealing with back and hamstring issues as early as Spring Training.
The Orioles also designated infielder Zelous Wheeler for assignment to open a space for Eveland on the 40-man roster.
• The Orioles and Rays split their 18-game series last year. That ended up 9-9, and the two teams now have a 120-120 career record against each other.
• J.J. Hardy has turned things up a notch this week. He began the week with a .187 average and has gone 11-for-23, increasing it to .238. He's hit in 16 of his last 17 games.
• Adam Jones has gotten off to a fast start this season. He's reached base in 29 of his 32 games and already has a pair of 10-game hitting streaks.
• Ravens safety Ed Reed took batting practice with the Orioles. He also stayed in center field while the Orioles hit and threw out the game's first pitch.
• Former Orioles player Luke Scott was the Rays designated hitter and batted fourth on Friday. Scott, who is hitting .247 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs for Tampa Bay this season, was a member of the Orioles from 2008 through 2011. He was named Most Valuable Oriole in 2010, hitting .284 with 27 home runs and 72 RBIs.
• Showalter said Friday that Chris Davis and Mark Reynolds could be options in left field, with normal starters Nolan Reimold and Endy Chavez both on the disabled list.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. Greg Luca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.