Is Jason Hammel's right knee back to normal? If so, maybe he can get back to his early winning ways in tonight's game against the Royals. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Well, it's been quite a day around here, hasn't it? Possible Adam Jones extension looming (at what seems like a fair price for both sides), and a number of rehabbing stories to look forward to in Bowie over this Memorial Day Weekend: Brian Roberts is in Bowie tonight, leading off and playing at DH; we heard earlier in the week that Zach Britton would be starting in Bowie tomorrow. Today we found out that Mark Reynolds and Endy Chavez, too, would be heading to the Baysox tomorrow for some rehab. Although there's not much exciting about Chavez being closer to playing again, since at this point he's probably just going to take playing time from someone younger who sucks less than he does.
With all that going on, there's still baseball to be played tonight. The Royals are in town for a three-game series. It's another one of those signs of how deeply the Orioles have damaged me that the Jones extension reminds me of another recent time that the Orioles extended someone. There's a world of difference between those days and now, or so I keep trying to tell myself.
The Orioles will be up against former Camden Yards laughmeister Bruce Chen. Bruce, I'm sorry to say it, but Andino at the Movies is better than your Joke of the Day ever was, and as a bonus, Andino is better at baseball than you were at pitching when your Jumbotron segment aired. That same Andino will be leading off against Chen tonight, as he has led off against every lefty recently. Chen. Andino. The battle of the billboards. WHO WILL OWN IT?
In his first six starts of the year, Jason Hammel did not allow more than two earned runs. Since pitching after his turn was skipped due to right knee soreness, he's allowed four earned runs while failing to get through six innings in both starts. If that knee is still bothering him, he might run into difficulty at the same point in the game tonight. If he's starting to get well again, then hopefully he can return closer to the form we'd seen from him over the first month.
Though they have an abysmal home record, the Royals are 12-9 on the road so far in 2012. The O's took the two games they played in Kansas City, and if they want to keep showing to the world they belong up top, then beating the fourth-place team in what seems to be a weak division is something that they need to be doing.
|BALTIMORE ORIOLES||KANSAS CITY ROYALS|
|Robert Andino - 2B||Jarrod Dyson - CF|
|J.J. Hardy - SS||Eric Hosmer - 1B|
|Nick Markakis - RF||Billy Butler - DH|
|Adam Jones - CF||Mike Moustakas - 3B|
|Matt Wieters - C||Jeff Francoeur - RF|
|Wilson Betemit - 1B||Alex Gordon - LF|
|Chris Davis - DH||Brayan Pena - C|
|Steve Tolleson - 3B||Irving Falu - 2B|
|Xavier Avery - LF||Alcides Escobar - SS|