After MRI, Cashner confident of quick return
Lefty reliever Hart sent back to Triple-A; Mancini hot vs. Sox
An MRI performed Wednesday on Andrew Cashner’s ailing back revealed no structural damage, and the Orioles right-hander expects to be able to reclaim his rotation spot early next week.
“It went good,” Cashner said of the MRI. “I mean, definitely, my back started just cramping up my last start. It’s a mild strain, but I think I can be able to make my next start.”
Cashner said he began to feel back spasms before his most recent start Friday night in Toronto. Cashner allowed 11 base runners and three runs over a six-inning outing in a 5-1 loss to the Blue Jays.
“It started before the game, and I tried to get it to work out, and I just couldn’t get it to free up and then I think as the game went on, I had no command, and I was just kind of grinding through it,” Cashner said.
Cashner said the problem didn’t improve over the next 24 hours, putting his next start, which was scheduled for Wednesday, in jeopardy.
“I was having real bad spasms, and I didn’t really know,” Cashner said. “And the next day, I was just extremely sore and then it just transpired into coming home and it hadn’t really freed up, so I started feel better today.”
He went on the DL on Tuesday, and the Orioles called up rookie right-hander Yefry Ramirez to fill his spot Wednesday. Ramirez allowed three runs on four hits over 41⁄ innings while striking out six and walking one.
Cashner, who said he’s never had a back problem before, is eligible to return from the DL on Tuesday when the Orioles open a three-game interleague series in Washington, and because the Orioles have days off Thursday and Monday, he would miss only one start if he returns then.
Manager Buck Showalter said Wednesday that the possibility of Cashner being ready by his DL date “looks good right now.”
“I’ve got a bullpen I think this weekend sometime,” Cashner said. “Today’s probably the best day I’ve had yet, so looking forward to getting some more acupuncture tomorrow and see where we end from there.” Cashner Hart sent back down: The Orioles placed left-handed reliever Donnie Hart back on the Triple-A Norfolk shuttle before Wednesday afternoon’s series finale against the Boston Red Sox, optioning him to the minors to create 25-man roster space for right-hander Yefry Ramirez, who made his major league debut Wednesday.
After he was recalled to replace Cashner, Hart pitched a scoreless eighth inning in the Orioles’ 6-4 loss to Boston on Tuesday night at Camden Yards. He threw 20 pitches in the outing, so would have been seemingly available again Wednesday, but was optioned instead.
Hart spent less than 24 hours with the big league club. This is the fourth time the Orioles have recalled and optioned Hart, with none of those stints lasting more than eight days and three of them lasting three days or fewer.
With Miguel Castro having thrown 22⁄ innings Tuesday and Darren O’Day and Zach Britton working their way back into high-leverage roles after coming off the DL, to say the Orioles bullpen is at full strength going into Wednesday’s game would be a stretch. The Orioles receive a day off Thursday and another Monday, which should allow a bullpen that’s accounted for 14 innings the past three days regain its footing, though left-hander Richard Bleier left Wednesday’s game with the makings of a lat injury.
Despite allowing nine base runners in 62⁄ big league innings, Hart has a1.35 ERA in six relief appearances with the Orioles. He has a 2.66 ERA in 19 appearances with Triple-A Norfolk spanning 232⁄ innings.
Showalter said Britton and O’Day felt good and “sore in the right places” after pitching in relief Tuesday. Britton made his season debut after spending the first 66 games on the DL recovering from a ruptured Achilles tendon injury, walking three but pitching a scoreless seventh inning. O’Day made his second appearance in three days since coming off the DL, completing a scoreless ninth. Around the horn: With a two-hit game Wednesday, first baseman Trey Mancini is hitting .306 (34-for-111) in his career against Boston. … Third baseman Danny Valencia extended his hitting streak to six games with a fourth-inning single. He’s hit safely in 16 of his past 19 games dating to May 13.