Bleier will miss the remainder of the season and might not be ready for spring training. Any sort of estimate depends on what Romeo finds during the surgery.
There are three grades of strains, and Bleier sustained the most severe simply by throwing a pitch last week.
“Grade 1 is a minor strain, one to two weeks healing with less than 20 percent tear,” said Dr. Gene Shirokobrod, physical therapist and CEO of Recharge in Ellicott City. “Grade 2 is a partial tear with 25 to 75 percent tear and recovery lasting three to eight weeks. Grade 3 is most severe because it is a full tear.
“Grade 1-2 typically do not require surgery because the tissue will eventually regenerate, and through rehab nearly 100 percent function can be restored. For most cases, Grade 3 tears will require surgery because the tissue is unable to recover in a fully functional way. As with anything, there are exceptions, but not for professional athletes. For a lat injury it becomes mandatory. It’s a huge, powerful muscle that is critical for throwing athletes.
“In terms of baseball injuries, it’s not as common as UCL elbow strains or rotator cuff injuries. Why? Because it’s a huge and powerful muscle. Throwing is a violent motion. The lat’s main job is to pull the arm down and rotate it in. Think Mike Mussina’s overhead delivery. From the top by his head, down toward his hip, his arm motion is largely done by the lat. Because it’s such a big muscle it can develop and sustain the force needed in throwing, whereas much smaller muscles such as the four rotator cuff muscles still have to generate large amounts of force while being mechanically disadvantaged.
“In other words, if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, the lat is the Mountain and the rotator cuff muscles are Arya. They are both highly skilled and 99 percent of the time will get the job done. But when brute force over time is required, the Mountain will always win out.”
* Rookie right-hander David Hess makes his second start against the Nationals tonight and knows he won’t be sneaking up on anyone, especially a team that he’s already faced. Adjustments can be made on both sides.
Hess held the Nationals to a Bryce Harper solo home run over six innings on May 30 in a 2-0 loss. He needs to bounce back from his most recent outing, when the Red Sox disposed of him in 3 1/3 innings after scoring five runs on five hits and four walks.
The eight home runs in 32 2/3 innings are an issue for Hess, who again will be working on extended rest.
Off-days Thursday and yesterday pushed back Hess in the rotation. He hasn’t pitched in a week.
Hess already has worked on seven and six days’ rest with the Orioles.
Harper, Anthony Rendon, Trea Turner and Wilmer Difo each had a hit off Hess in the May 30 game.
* The Orioles will announce later today that they recalled catcher Caleb Joseph from Triple-A Norfolk as the corresponding move for rookie Chance Sisco, who was optioned following Sunday afternoon’s game against the Marlins.
Joseph hit .273/.340/.364 in 24 games with two doubles, two home runs and 14 RBIs. He went 12-for-35 (.343) with two home runs in his last 10 games.
Joseph threw out six of 13 runners attempting to steal after nabbing four of 19 with the Orioles.
Sisco’s departure also removed a catching platoon, with both Joseph and rookie Austin Wynns batting from the right side.
The Orioles still have a five-man bench, which increases to six in National League play
* Center fielder Adam Jones has hit safely in all nine Interleague games this season, batting .395
(15-for-38), and has hit safely in 10 straight dating back to July 16, 2017.
Jones is batting .347 (52-for-150) since May 4, a span of 36 games.
* The Orioles announced yesterday that they signed right-hander Yeankrlos Lleras, a sixth-round pick in the 2018 First-Year Player Draft. Their total number of signings is up to 21.
Baseball America’s Carlos Collazo reported that Lleras, from Leadership Christian Academy in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, signed for $250,000. The slot figure was $273,400.