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Jason Hammel undergoing surgery on right knee, out at least four weeks

Jul 14, 2012, 10:38 PM EDT

jason hammel ap AP

The Orioles celebrated a walkoff victory over the Tigers on Saturday, but they’re struggling to cling to an American League Wild Card spot and could be without one of their best starters for a while.

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun writes that Jason Hammel has cartilage “floating” in his right knee that gives him pain whenever he tries a bending motion. He’ll need surgery to fully relieve it, and the rehab for such a procedure takes at least seven weeks.

Hammel will sleep on it, weighing whether to try and pitch through the discomfort. He’s going to be placed on the 15-day disabled list before the Orioles close out their three-game set Sunday against the Tigers.

25-year-old left-hander Brian Matusz will likely get another crack at the starting rotation no matter what Hammel decides to do. He has a 5.42 ERA, 1.71 WHIP and 62/38 K/BB ratio in 84 2/3 innings this season.


SUNDAY, 11:31 AM: Connolly reports that Hammel is indeed having the surgery, but it’s of the arthroscopic variety and he might miss only four weeks. Still, it’s certainly a tough blow to the fading O’s.

  1. DJ MC - Jul 14, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    There are a lot of exceedingly unhappy Orioles fans right now, and considering today’s win, that is difficult to achieve.

    Not just at the news itself, which could end up anywhere from “annoyance gone by his next start” to “season-killer”. The fact that he’s been having problems with this knee for about two months now, and the team has done very little to give him extra recovery time. The fact that the team sent Brian Matusz (along with Jake Arrieta) down to the minors to give him time with Rick Peterson to diagnose and fix whatever is ailing them when facing major-league pitching. The fact that the team might still make a panic move to cover this, when the team need a big move WITH a healthy Hammel to have a realistic hope of remaining in the playoff hunt.

    I have a bad feeling about this.

  2. randygnyc - Jul 15, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    I don’t think the orioles, as presently constituted, are a wild card team. IMO, they need a healthy Hammell AND need to trade for a front end of the rotation starter to have a chance.

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