Remember that guy Felix Pie? It's okay, we all tend to forget about the 60 day DL guys too. To refresh your memory, he's the speedy outfielder the Orioles acquired from the Cubs in 2009 in the Garrett Olson trade who's been rehabbing a torn latissimus dorsi muscle in his back since April.
Originally it was thought Pie wouldn't return until after the All-Star break. Monday, interim manager Juan Samuel announced Pie could rejoin the team before the end of June. He's taking batting practice for the first time on Tuesday in Sarasota, and if that goes well he's expected to go out on a minor league rehab assignment soon.
Pie's first year with the O's, 2009, was an interesting year for him. He rarely made it off the bench in April and May. Then, thanks to injuries suffered by Adam Jones and Nolan Reimold, he got more and more playing time from June through September. At first he had a tendency to make some bonehead mistakes on the base paths and in the field.
Then, in August and September he started looking more and more comfortable at the plate, raising his average above .270. His defense in the field was still a work in progress, but some of the cluelessness started to disappear.
Juan Samuel said the Orioles were really excited about his progress coming into 2010 because he picked up where he left off in 2009 at spring training. He was the Orioles' hottest hitter this spring. There's no question the Orioles planned for him to be a major contributor in many ways this year.
The O's could definitely use any help they can get offensively. The question will be, where will Pie pick up when he returns? The O's hope is that it's right where he left off in spring training.
Do you think Felix Pie could be the spark the Orioles are looking for or just another mediocre addition?