Arrieta to get second opinion on bone spur
Right-hander leaning toward not having surgical procedure
BOSTON -- Orioles rookie Jake Arrieta, who was planning on having the bone spur on his right elbow removed on Wednesday, will instead get a second opinion and could postpone the procedure indefinitely.
Arrieta's MRI results from Saturday will be examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles and the 24-year-old, who was shut down for the season following Tuesday's start against Toronto, will decide what to do from there. Arrieta, who is with the team in Boston, is skeptical about getting the surgery done given that he hasn't had any pain or unusual soreness in his elbow. The MRI revealed that the ligament is healthy and right now, Arrieta doesn't want to fix what's not broken.
"I kind of slept on the situation personally for a night, and I really thought it over, what I want to do. I don't really want to have it done," said Arrieta, who has never spent any time on the disabled list and has avoided any significant arm injuries so far in his career. "We're getting a second opinion and we'll probably go from there, but I'm leaning toward not having it done."
Another concern is that removing the spur, which adds more flexibility to the elbow, could increase the 24-year-old's risk of needing Tommy John surgery down the road.
"Obviously with the bone spur, there's a chance where it kind of affects you at some point, but I've had it for the past six years and I've never had an issue with it and it's never gotten any worse," Arrieta said. "I just don't think surgery is the best decision now, but we'll see what the second opinion says."
For now, Arrieta will remain with the team, although that could change if Yocum wants to examine Arrieta further in person. Should Arrieta get the procedure to remove the bone spur, the recovery time would put him at about mid-October before he was full-throttle, depending on how he heals. The thought was Arrieta would get the preemptive surgery to avoid missing any time down the road and to not disrupt his offseason regimen.
Right now, Arrieta is with the team but he could fly out to Los Angeles to meet with Yocum for further examining if he can't draw a definitive conclusion from the MRI films.
With Arrieta out, O's realign rotation
BOSTON -- With rookie Jake Arrieta shut down for the season, the Orioles will move up starters Brad Bergesen and Kevin Millwood, to Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, with Jeremy Guthrie tentatively scheduled to pitch Friday's series opener against Toronto.
That would put Chris Tillman in line to make Saturday's start, but manager Buck Showalter said the O's could potentially slot back Guthrie to Saturday and give Rick VandenHurk a start at the end of this week, which would push Tillman back to Sunday.
Showalter said nothing is finalized beyond the Red Sox series, which ends with Millwood, and much of what the team does going forward will be about striking a balance between remaining competitive within the division and doing what's best for the Orioles.
"[VandenHurk's] in the mix, [but] we haven't gotten that far yet," Showalter said of this weekend's rotation. "[We will] see how we come out here bullpen-wise. [I] still would like to get him out there for a start."
VandenHurk, a starter his entire career, was acquired at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline from the Marlins in exchange for lefty reliever Will Ohman. He had thrown just five innings out of the bullpen until Matusz exited his start Sept. 13 with an injury, forcing Showalter to turn the game over to the 'pen. VandenHurk made the most of the opportunity, tossing 5 1/3 innings -- a season high for an Orioles reliever -- and allowing only a solo homer.
He also allowed a three-run homer in the ninth inning of Saturday's loss to the Yankees, but the Orioles want to see what VandenHurk can do as a starter given that he is out of options next spring.
Lugo gets greenlight to resume playing
BOSTON -- Following a Monday afternoon exam in Baltimore, infielder Julio Lugo was medically cleared to participate in baseball activities and is expected to rejoin the team in Boston on Tuesday.
"That's really good news all the way around," manager Buck Showalter said of Lugo, who had been suffering from reoccurring headaches since he was hit in the helmet by a pickoff throw on Aug. 29.
"It was a real cautionary thing. ... They are being extra cautious with that type of injury and we were able to eliminate all the things you really worry about."
Lugo last appeared in a game on Sept. 10, when he scored as a pinch-runner and is batting .251 with 18 RBIs in 90 games.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.