In recent days, Jason Hammel has been dealing with a knee ailment that even required fluid to be drained. However, the Baltimore Orioles starter is enjoying a nice year on the mound for the upstart Orioles and doesn’t want to miss any time or let his team down in the process. That said, he’s taking the hill tonight in the first game of a series with the Kansas City Royals.
“I really feel like just getting me out there every fifth day is going to help the team,” said Hammel. “Obviously, I don’t want to kill the [bullpen], but I think missing me for a couple of weeks right now is probably not in the best interest of myself or the team. I know I can help the team right now with this. It’s something I can put up with, and I’m just going to keep grinding it out.”
Hammel is 5-1 with a 3.12 ERA through 8 starts with the Orioles. It’s a smaller sample size, for certain, but it’s a full 1.5 runs lower than last year with the Colorado Rockies. The Orioles have to be thrilled with the results so far from Hammel, but an ailment like this can linger over time, so they might want to be careful. Clearly they trust their pitcher when he says he’s good to go.
The Royals will counter with Bruce Chen, who is 3-4 with a 4.17 ERA.