There is a perfectly good reason why Adam Jones and J.J. Hardy are again out of the Orioles lineup for Saturday night's game against the Rays. If you're in Maryland you can assess this reason for yourself by walking outside right now. It's cold out there and it's no kind of weather in which you need to force a player to play who's dealt with a nagging injury.
Still, for all that Jones has maintained that if it was September instead of April, he would be playing, that's now three days in a row where he's out due to soreness in his rib area, which he insists is not in his oblique, the oblique itself being in the rib area.
Hardy told Orioles reporters that the calf tightness that kept him from playing yesterday is "no longer a problem," so his absence looks more like a cold-related precaution. To the O's south, the Nationals canceled their Saturday game not because of any precipitation but just because of unseasonably cold temperatures. Minor league affiliates in Maryland have had their Saturday games postponed for the same reason.
It's cold, which doesn't bother O's manager Buck Showalter any:
Buck: "It's going to be cold but we play games. That's what we do." #orioles— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) April 9, 2016
Take that, Walgreens.
Just from watching on television, they looked a lot more comfortable in yesterday's weather than did the Rays. Maybe that'll play in tonight. They'll need the help as personal Orioles destroyer Drew Smyly is pitching for Tampa Bay.
Here's the Jones-less, Hardy-less starting lineup:
1. Joey Rickard - CF
2. Nolan Reimold - LF
3. Manny Machado - SS
4. Chris Davis - 1B
5. Mark Trumbo - RF
6. Matt Wieters - DH
7. Jonathan Schoop - 2B
8. Caleb Joseph - C
9. Ryan Flaherty - 3B
And all of this with Mike Wright on the mound for the O's. This is the first look they will get against a left-handed starter this season. That explains the absence of Pedro Alvarez, hitless to begin 2016. Leaving him in against a lefty is not the way to get him off the schneid.