09/17/12 11:50 PM ET
Thome closing in on return to Orioles
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
Orioles being cautious with Hammel
SEATTLE -- The Orioles continue to take a wait-and-see approach with right-handed pitcher Jason Hammel, who is resting and rehabbing his right knee after Thursday's MRI exam showed no additional damage but some "hot spots" from scar tissue."Slow," manager Buck Showalter of the progress with Hammel. "[It's] not imminent that he moves to another step yet." The 30-year-old Hammel aggravated his surgically repaired knee in his second start back from the disabled list earlier this month, and the team remains hopeful he will start again this season. "Oh sure, I'm optimistic," Showalter said. "We just haven't had anything where, 'Hey, this feels pretty good, let's start throwing,' yet. We haven't gotten the discomfort out of there yet." Hammel, who has played catch since his MRI exam, is 8-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 20 starts despite being hampered by knee issues the past three months.
Reimold on track to be 100 percent this spring
BALTIMORE -- It looks as if Nolan Reimold will have a regular offseason, as the 28-year-old Orioles outfielder is about two weeks away from being fully released from his rehab regimen."He's got mostly all of his strength back," manager Buck Showalter said of Reimold, who had season-ending neck surgery to remove a bulging disk and fuses his spine on June 25. "That's going well. He's got X-percentage, I'm not going to give it out publicly, but his strength is about X-percent back, which is well above average, so he is getting there." Reimold, the team's Opening Day left fielder, hit .313, with five homers and 10 RBIs, posting a .627 slugging percentage in 67 at-bats before hitting the disabled list. He last played April 30 and the team is hopeful he will be a full-go in next year's Spring Training. "That would be a big step if we can get through these two weeks," Showalter said. "Unless they think he needs more, but the way he is now, they think he could be released in two weeks and get on with a normal offseason, whatever that happens to be." Reimold is currently rehabbing at his Florida home.
The Orioles rotation following Chris Tillman is Wei-Yin Chen and Joe Saunders with Miguel Gonzalez tentatively slated for the first game in Boston. The O's are being cautious in limiting Gonzalez's innings and Showalter said as long as he looks OK in his side session, Gonzalez figures to start Friday at Fenway Park. Reliever Troy Patton (right ankle sprain) will throw again in the instructional league Tuesday, his second rehab game down in Sarasota. Showalter said the team will decide the next step for Patton after that, although the team is hoping to see some better command from him this next time out.
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.