Center fielder Adam Jones, who has 32 homers and played every game of this season, has been named the Most Valuable Oriole, becoming the seventh player in club history to win the award in consecutive seasons.
But not all the news Sunday morning was good.
Rookie right-hander Steve Johnson, who has been one of the club’s best pitchers in the past month, is dealing with a left knee injury that he suffered when he was hit on the right foot by a Dustin Pedroia comebacker in the fourth inning Saturday.
Johnson was in a walking boot for the foot injury, but said it feels better this morning. The left knee, however, which he extended awkwardly when hit by the grounder, is in pain.
“The knee is bothering me a little bit,” Johnson said. “It kind of gave out on me. I’m trying to figure out what’s going on with that. I don’t feel terrible, but something is bothering me a little bit. Trying to figure out what it is. … It’s not so bad walking around, but I can make it hurt here and there.”
Johnson said he’s not sure if he will get a MRI today on the knee – X-Rays on the foot were negative and the injury is being called a bruise -- he’s leaving that up to the team medical staff. If the Orioles lose Johnson, who has emerged as one of the club’s most consistent and versatile pitchers, it could be a big blow to the postseason roster. He is 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA in 12 games (four starts).
“Obviously, it’s never good. I don’t want to be hurt and I’m hoping I am still OK. I feel like right now I could go out and pitch if I needed to. It makes me feel a lot better that way,” Johnson said. “Obviously, I am still hoping I can help the team. I really believe I can do that, I’m just hoping I get some treatment and everything will be OK.”
In more positive news, Jones joins six others as consecutive MVOs: Frank Robinson, Boog Powell, Cal Ripken Jr., Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer and Rafael Palmeiro.
Closer Jim Johnson, who has a club record 49 saves, finished second to Jones in the balloting of media that cover the team. Catcher Matt Wieters was third and outfielder Nick Markakis and rookie pitcher Wei-Yin Chen also received votes. Jones, Johnson and Wieters were the only ones named first on ballots.
Jones will be presented with the award before today’s home finale at Camden Yards.
Here is the Orioles’ lineup: McLouth 7, Hardy 6, Davis 9, Jones 8, Wieters 2, Thome DH, Reynolds 3, Flaherty 4, Machado 5. Saunders 1.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times