Jim Thome turns 42 next Monday. Maybe hell celebrate his birthday in Sarasota, Fla. Perhaps hell be in Bowie. Could it be possible that hell be back with the Orioles?No, he wont be ready to play with the Orioles in six days, but Thome has apparently made an encouraging recovery from a herniated disc.Thome reported neck spasms on July 28, and three days later was put on the disabled list. He was told to rest for 30 days, but after staying with the Orioles for several days and returning to his Illinois home for several more, hes feeling better.Manager Buck Showalter said that hell be reporting to Sarasota to continue his rehabilitation on Wednesday.As Thome pointed out when he announced his month-long shutdown, it doesnt take long for a designated hitter to get ready. He doesnt have to readjust to fielding and throwing, and hes not an especially fast runner.After a few days in Sarasota, Thome should be ready for rehab, and realistically, he could be ready to return around the time the rosters expand on Sept. 1.If Thomes still on the DL on Sept. 1, hes still eligible for postseason play.Thome has played just 18 games with the Orioles since being acquired on June 30. Unfortunately for Orioles fans, hes played just seven of them at home.When Thomes injury was revealed, I shuddered. I feared his career might be over. At 42, its highly questionable whether he plays next year. In a short time, Thome has ingratiated himself with the Orioles. There are the many in-game chats with manager Buck Showalter. How many times have you seen shots of Thome on the road talking with Showalter during a game.Showalter deeply respects Thome, and its obviously mutual. Hes asked his opinion on players and situations, and lots of times, Thome drops by Showalters office to discuss game situations.Not every one of Thomes clubhouses were as placid as this one. His salad days were spent in a volatile Cleveland clubhouse with lots of controversial players. Thome was the adult.He was miserable in Philadelphia this year. He wasnt playing much because of the lack of the DH, and it was obvious early this season that the Phillies were no longer a powerhouse. On to Baltimore. His arrival was a happy one. He ambled into the interview room two hours before his first game and instead of sitting stiffly behind the podium as so many others do, he pivoted to his right. His positive, welcoming body language was a nice sign. So were his earnest answers.The always creative Showalter asked Thome to scout wunderkind Dylan Bundy at Bowie last week. He eagerly agreed, sitting in the stands with Tripp Norton, the teams Director of Administration and longtime area scout Dean Albany. After several innings he returned to Oriole Park for the remainder of the Orioles game.Thome enjoyed the experience, but cautioned that it wasnt a precursor to a career in coaching, managing or the front office. When he stops playing, Thome wants to spend some time with his small children.It would be difficult imagining the Orioles handing Thome a major league contract for next season. It would be equally difficult imagining him accepting a minor league deal.There isnt much demand for 42 year-old fulltime designated hitters, even one with 611 home runs.In his seven home games in Baltimore, Thome hasnt hit a home run. His two with the Orioles came on the road.It would be a treat for Oriole Park fans to get perhaps another month of Thome. There are still 21 home games remaining, and if he has an important home run or two left, it would be fun to see him hit them at home.Even if Thome says he wants to spend time at home before considering a coaching or managing career, he seems like the ideal hitting instructor.He reports hours early for games, studies and works out. Thome is knowledgeable and approachable. As a potential manager, he might find it hard to be critical, but thats for later.This future Hall of Famer doesnt act if hes the seventh-leading home run hitter of all time. Theres no apparent ego. Hes welcoming and polite to reporters. After covering dozens of forgettable players, I find myself rooting for this one. Hopefully, Thome comes back soon and plays perhaps a final monthor maybe a little more.
Trey Mancini, the Orioles' only hope at an All-Star, exited Baltimore's matinee against Oakland in the top of the first on Wednesday, after he was struck on the left elbow by a 92-mph fastball from the Athletics' starter Chris Bassitt.
Baltimore's Chris Davis pinch-ran for Mancini, who left the game almsot immediately after being hit.
Baltimore announced on Twitter that Mancini exited the game with a left elbow contusion.
Mancini, the Orioles' first baseman and outfielder, was a bright spot in a rather lackluster Baltimore lineup.
The only Oriole with a real chance at an All-Star selection, Mancini is batting .304 in 70 games and leads Baltimore with 84 hits, 18 doubles and 16 homers.
The 27 year-old also has one of the highest slugging percentages on the Orioles (.558).
Fans reacted with anguish on Twitter after Mancini exited the game.
Trey Mancini got hurt? pic.twitter.com/7yJhu1Bhiv— Connor Newcomb (@ConnorNewcomb_) June 19, 2019
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The Orioles gave up six home runs in Tuesday night’s 16-2 loss to the Athletics in Oakland. Here are the latest news and notes.
In his first rehab game with Triple-A Norfolk, Dwight Smith Jr. (concussion) was hitless in four at-bats with two strikeouts and groundouts each. Smith Jr. played all 8.5 innings of Norfolk’s loss to the RailRiders.
In 5 and ⅓ innings pitched against Oakland Tuesday night, Gabriel Ynoa gave up seven hits and six runs (three home runs). He surfaces with a 5.65 ERA in five starts and nine relief appearances.
Rio Ruiz has sunk from starting third baseman to potential DFA candidate. Ruiz went 0-for-3 against the A’s on Tuesday and has gone 9-for-58 in nearly one month (since May 21).
RHP Josh Lucas (shoulder): 10-day IL, out indefinitely
OF Dwight Smith Jr. (concussion): 7-day IL, set to return June 20
OF DJ Stewart (ankle): 10-day IL, out indefinitely
SP Alex Cobb (back): 60-day IL, returns in 2020
SP Nate Karns (arm): 60-day IL, out indefinitely
DH Mark Trumbo (knee): 60-day IL, out indefinitely
Wednesday, 6/19: Orioles @ Athletics, 3:37 p.m. ET, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum
Thursday, 6/20: Orioles @ Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET, T-Mobile Park
Friday, 6/21: Orioles @ Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET, T-Mobile Park
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