Before throwing in the bullpen, Hammel said he his balky right knee has shown progress, but that he didn’t want to throw off a full mound until he was certain the knee was pain free.
“It’s starting to feel really good, but I’m not going to get on a mound and throw another pitch until it feels normal,” Hammel said. “I’m not going to risk further injury.”
Hammel has been throwing on the side on alternating days off flat ground.
“It was something he was actually doing at the beginning of the year,” Showalter said. “We’re obviously not going to pitch him if he still feels discomfort.”
Hammel, who missed nearly eight weeks after arthroscopic surgery on the knee in mid-July, left his second start since returning from the disabled list when he felt the same pain in the knee. Tests showed no structural damage, and Hammel said it would only get better with rest.
“It probably would have been smarter to maybe wait another week before I started doing rehab and things like that,” Hammel said. “I don’t want to say I rushed it, but it probably would have helped. I probably wouldn’t have had a setback, but hindsight is 20-20. It’s easy to say those things. But right now we’re going to be very cautious with it.”
Hammel is still optimistic that he can return at some point this season.
“I’m hoping so,” he said. “I’m not throwing any of that out the window. This is too much fun to miss. I don’t want to consider my season over at all yet, so I’m doing everything I can to come back make sure it’s strong and that I can actually be useful without [initially] feeling strong, going out there and all of a sudden in the second inning, I’m done and the bullpen’s on the line again. It’s not worth the risk.”
Other happenings around the Orioles clubhouse today as they open their three-game series against Boston:
-- The team activated DH
Here are tonight's starting lineups:
Lew Ford DH
Manny Machado 3B
Miguel Gonzalez RHP