Mets doctor will examine Pearce’s elbow
O’Day to have session Friday, won’t return from DL before Sunday
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)