Wednesday's rainout has allowed the Baltimore Orioles to skip Bruce Chen's turn in the rotation. Chen, who was questionable for his scheduled start on Thursday because of a strained left toe, is now tentatively planned to pitch on Monday against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
"I think Chen will be okay," Orioles Manager Lee Mazzilli said.
No rescheduled date has been set for Wednesday's game, though both teams share a day off on Sept. 26, which is prior to a three-game series between the teams at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Chien-Ming Wang, who allowed just three runs in seven innings against the Orioles on Tuesday, will oppose Chen on Monday. Kevin Brown, who hasn't pitched since June 15, may be activated from the disabled list and likely will start on Tuesday.
Hayden Penn, the scheduled starter for Wednesday's rainout, will pitch on Thursday against the Cleveland Indians. Rodrigo Lopez will pitch on Friday, Daniel Cabrera throws on Saturday and Sidney Ponson pitches on Sunday. Penn said he had looked forward to facing former Orioles ace Mike Mussina.
"Obviously, I wanted to go tonight," Penn said. "I wanted to face the Yankees."
The rainout may prove fortuitous for the Orioles, who might not have had Chen available for Thursday's game. Chen strained his left big toe while running to first base in Saturday's loss to the Atlanta Braves.
"It's definitely healing but I don't know if I'm going to be 100 percent for tomorrow," Chen said prior to the rainout.
Chen said he felt fine after a bullpen session on Tuesday, though he had to make some adjustments.
"I don't want to say too much because I don't want the other teams to know what I can't do," Chen said.
Mazzilli said he will make sure Chen can throw without any problems before sending him out.
"Once you start to compensate, the next thing you know you blow your arm out," Mazzilli said. If Chen can't make his start on Monday, the most likely candidate to take his place is reliever James Baldwin.
Mora Aims for Weekend
After more than a week out of the lineup, third baseman Melvin Mora thinks he will finally return to the field this weekend against the Cleveland Indians. Mora ran for the first time on Wednesday since straining his right hamstring on June 21 against the Toronto Blue Jays. Mazzilli said Mora will definitely be held out of Thursday's game against the Indians.
"I don't hurt at all," Mora said. "In two more days I may be able to run hard. I ran [today] and I did backpedals and side-to-side and it didn't bother me. I feel a tiny thing inside and I don't want to rush back so I want to take a couple of more days so it can be completely healed."
Baltimore has sorely missed Mora. The Orioles are only 1-6 in his absence.
Mazzilli said Mora likely won't play until he feels close to 100 percent healthy.
"You'd like to be close to it, where there's no fear of pulling it," Mazzilli said.
Bigbie Cautiously Optimistic
Larry Bigbie said his recent surge, a .378 average since his return from the disabled list on June 14, might not be helping his cause to stay in Baltimore. The outfielder has been the subject of several trade rumors and his recent impressive play may be increasing his trade value.
"The biggest disappointment would be being here through the tough times with the organization and now finally having a chance to be around a winning organization," Bigbie said. "To have to watch that from another team would be disappointing."