Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen threw in the bullpen today without any physical issues, and he remains scheduled to begin an injury-rehab assignment on Saturday. Double-A Bowie is his likely destination, according to manager Buck Showalter, but it hasn’t been made official.
Chen’s assignment may last only one start before the Orioles activate him from the disabled list.
Showalter said he wouldn’t anticipate second baseman Brian Roberts and outfielder Nolan Reimold both coming off the disabled list this weekend. Roberts, who went 2-for-4 with a double last night in his first rehab game at Triple-A Norfolk, is expected to be activated first.
Reimold was 2-for-27 at Bowie before going 3-for-6 today. His right hamstring appears to be healed.
Infielder Jonathan Schoop, on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his lower back, hit for the first time today.
Steve Johnson, on the disabled list with a strained left oblique, threw on flat ground from 90 feet today.
Showalter still hasn’t confirmed a starter for Friday night’s game against the Yankees at Camden Yards. Kevin Gausman remains a candidate.
Showalter is waiting until after tonight’s game to make the announcement. He needs to find out how his bullpen is used against the Indians.
Showalter confirmed that Dylan Bundy will undergo ligament-reconstructive surgery on his right elbow Thursday morning in Gulf Breeze, Fla. Dr. James Andrews will handle the procedure.
Though the news is disappointing, Showalter tried to downplay the significance.
“I look at, if it was someone who had already established himself in the big leagues,” Showalter said. “He had some hurdles to cross and this might help some in certain situations. Hopefully next year at this time, we’ll be putting a date on when he’s going to pitch again in a game.
“We all know this is a procedure that, unfortunately, has become pretty commonplace, as Dr. Andrews would say. We talk about it all the time. He’s seeing it more and more in 14-, 15-, 16-year-old kids. That’s one of the most alarming things that he’s seeing that has changed. All you’ve got to do is watch the College World Series and you can see why.
“A lot of people forget that Mariano Rivera had Tommy John surgery when it wasn’t that type of prospect to come back. The scar was different. Everything was different. So, that’s changed a lot over the years. I know Dr. Andrews and Dr. (John) Wilckens were on the same page about everything and we tried to see whether we could keep from going down this direction, but when he had the setback at a certain number of feet, I think they felt like there was some distress there.”
As far as we know, the tear didn’t exist when Bundy had his first MRI back in April.
“I just know where we are and where we’ve got to get, and we’ll get there and he’ll pitch well for us,” Showalter said.
“Dylan’s ready to go. When you think about everything he’s been through with this, he just wants to get it done, start the thought to be able to pitch without any discomfort, because I think this is probably kind of new to him.
“You can always make a statement that everybody’s going to have (the surgery) sooner or later, but you try to keep it from happening. But in a lot of cases that’s preordained. You take the precautions you need to take and hopefully it doesn’t happen.”
The Orioles did receive some positive news regarding Bundy. They may pick up a fourth minor league option on him.
Update: The Orioles confirmed that Chen will join Double-A Bowie for Saturday’s 6:35 p.m. game against Harrisburg.