For the second straight game and third straight day, the Orioles lineup has no Adam Jones in it. He came away from playing four games on the Trop carpet with a variety of nagging problems, including most specifically back spasms that have had him out of the lineup for the Nationals series.
In his pre-game comments to the media on Tuesday, manager Buck Showalter hinted vaguely that Jones might be able to "pull a Kirk Gibson" - pinch hit when injured. That didn't end up happening in Tuesday's game. He might make the same kind of vague hint for Wednesday. Since Jones hit two home runs off tonight's Nats starter, Max Scherzer, when last they met, maybe it's a bit more likely to see him in that capacity tonight.
That will depend on how the man himself is feeling, anyway. In his own words:
Feeling better. Not quite there yet #StayHungry.— 10 (@SimplyAJ10) September 23, 2015
With the Orioles having nothing tangible to play for except for the abstract benefit of a non-losing season, there's no reason to rush Jones in there. Knowing him as Orioles fans do, we can feel fairly sure that he must have been in pretty bad shape a couple of days ago to the point that even today he'd still admit to not quite being ready to play.
Jones' absence in center field was felt in Tuesday's game, with two outfield errors resulting from players in unfamiliar positions botching routine catches. This didn't end up costing the O's the game, fortunately. The story could be much the same in Wednesday's game, with Steve Pearce in left field and Ryan Flaherty in right field. Flaherty hasn't played right field since 2012 and at least one regular Orioles reporter thinks Flaherty is going to need to borrow someone else's outfield glove.
That isn't very reassuring.
The full Orioles lineup:
Maybe Chris Tillman can pick up where Ubaldo Jimenez left off at the plate.