Mets doc­tor will ex­am­ine Pearce’s el­bow

O’Day to have ses­sion Fri­day, won’t re­turn from DL be­fore Sun­day

Baltimore Sun - - ORIOLES - By Ed­uardo A. Encina eencina@balt­ twit­­dieInTheYard

BOS­TON — Ori­oles in­fielder-out­fielder Steve Pearce is sched­uled to un­dergo fur­ther ex­am­i­na­tion on a nag­ging el­bow in­jury that hin­dered him shortly af­ter he joined the club in a trade early last month, and has since resur­faced.

Pearce will see or­tho­pe­dic sur­geon Dr. David W. Altchek, the New York Mets’ med­i­cal di­rec­tor, to ex­am­ine his right arm.

Pearce missed nearly a week af­ter suf­fer­ing a flexor mass strain on a throw from the out­field Aug. 7. He ag­gra­vated the in­jury mak­ing a throw from left field in the Ori­oles’ 12-2 loss to the Red Sox on Mon­day night at Fen­way Park.

“He’s got a prob­lem there,” Ori­oles man­ager Buck Showal­ter said. [Altchek will “take a look at it. I know we’re wait­ing on [Ori­oles team physi­cian] Dr. [ Michael] Ja­cobs to get out of surgery, so they’ll all put their heads to­gether here and de­cide what the next course of ac­tion is. I think he’s go­ing to see Altchek to get an­other opin­ion, kind of an in­de­pen­dent opin­ion. But we’ll see. They’re all go­ing to weigh in on it.”

Pearce re­ceived a cor­ti­sone in­jec­tion last month but went roughly two weeks be­fore he could re­turn to the out­field. He was limited to des­ig­nated hit­ter du­ties and less stress­ful throws from first base.

Flexor mass strains are se­ri­ous in­juries and can be pre­cur­sors of el­bow re­con­struc­tion pro­ce­dures, more com­monly known as Tommy John surgery.

Showal­ter said Pearce’s lat­est set­back is sim­i­lar, but while the pre­vi­ous in­jury mainly af­fected his abil­ity to play the field, Pearce is now strug­gling to swing a bat.

“He’s hav­ing some trou­ble just open­ing a drawer,” Showal­ter said. “It’s the same, but I think this one bit him pretty good. He was al­most — we had got­ten through it, as you’ve seen, and we were hop­ing it would be fine for the rest of the sea­son, but he made that one throw last night that re­ally bit him.”

Pearce said he hopes a few days of rest will help al­le­vi­ate the dis­com­fort. Be­fore the Ori­oles ac­quired Pearce from the Tampa Bay Rays in ex­change for mi­nor league catcher Jonah Heim, Pearce was kept out of the out­field to keep his arm fresh, but the Ori­oles’ pri­mary need for Pearce has been in the cor­ner out­field po­si­tion. Pearce has tried to keep his arm healthy, with limited suc­cess.

“That’s what I’ve been try­ing to do,” Pearce said. “WhenI’m able to use it, it’s good to go. But you know, just a missed throw or a hard check swing just flares it back up. I con­stantly have to stay care­ful.”

Pearce has made seven of his past eight starts in the out­field, and has emerged as the team’s top left-field op­tion against left-handed pitch­ing. If he is un­able to play the out­field, Pearce would be limited to des­ig­nated hit­ter or first base. Steve Pearce O’Day needs at least one more out­ing: The Ori­oles had hoped to see setup man Dar­ren O’Day re­turn from the dis­abled list when the team re­turned to Bal­ti­more on Thurs­day to open an 11-game home­s­tand, but O’Day won’t be ac­ti­vated be­fore Sun­day.

O’Day com­pleted a suc­cess­ful sim­u­lated out­ing be­fore Tues­day’s game against the Bos­ton Red Sox, and Showal­ter said he will have an­other sim­u­lated ses­sion Fri­day.

“We want to see how he re­sponds the day af­ter,” Showal­ter said. “He’s not out of the woods yet, but he’s very close, we hope. This is as close as we’ve got­ten in a while. We’ve got­ten a good re­turn on it. … We plan on Dar­ren be­ing with us for a while, and we don’t want to do some­thing that’s go­ing to rush back and create an­other prob­lem that could be averted.”

O’Day, who has pitched just 271⁄ in­nings in 30 ap­pear­ances this sea­son af­ter four straight years of 68 or more ap­pear­ances, landed on the DLonAug. 13 with a right ro­ta­tor cuff strain. That fol­lowed a right ham­string strain that shelved him for seven weeks. Around the horn: The Ori­oles’ in­struc­tional-league games in Sara­sota, Fla. — they will play from Mon­day to Oct. 11 at Ed Smith Sta­dium — will be free and open to the pub­lic. … The Ori­oles’ 2017 sched­ule will be re­leased this af­ter­noon.

Starters: Rays’ Chris Archer (8-18, 4.05) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (7-11, 5.98)

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