O's outfielder unable to hit, play field due to fractured finger
By Keegan Matheson
TORONTO -- The Orioles will have outfielder Craig Gentry available Tuesday for the second game of the series against the Blue Jays, manager Buck Showalter said before Monday's 4-3 loss at Rogers Centre.
"He's flying [Monday night], he'll be activated [Tuesday]," Showalter said. "He's still not able to throw or hit."
Gentry has been out since Sept. 1 with a fractured finger on his right hand, and while it isn't healed enough for him to play full games, his speed as a pinch-runner will be a welcome addition to a club fighting to stay in the American League Wild Card race.
In 74 games, Gentry has hit .257 with a .333 on-base percentage and five steals in eight attempts. In 2013 and '14, Gentry stole 24 and 20 bases, respectively.
"We've got to get someone on base," Showalter said, "but any time you've got a player that makes the other team play to a different speed, the pitch has to be faster to the plate. [They] have to worry about, the catcher has to speed up, take away some pitches. May not want to throw a breaking ball that's slower to the plate."
Showalter does not have a timeline for whether Gentry will be able to throw and hit before the end of the season, but the expanded roster will allow the Orioles to use him freely without burning their bench. If he is able to return in any capacity, Showalter would like to see his glove, too.
"He'll really help us when he can go play defense," Showalter added. "He was a big upgrade for us. He was really swinging the bat well, too, at the time. But we'll take that one skill this time of year."
Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.