The Orioles have to be somewhat concerned about right-handed pitcher Brandon Erbe of the Norfolk Tides at this point.
The 22-year-old from Baltimore has not pitched since a July 24 injury-rehab start with Aberdeen and underwent an MRA exam on Thursday.
Erbe has been dealing with right shoulder soreness and was on the road back to Triple-A when he was sent to Aberdeen.
The O’s won’t know the next move with Erbe until they get the results of that exam.
Erbe was expected to make three starts for Aberdeen, but made just the one start and pitched three innings July 24 vs. Hudson Valley. He gave up one hit and two runs. He threw 40 pitches and his fastball ranged from 90 to 95 in that game.
A third-round pick in 2005, Erbe is 0-10, 5.73 with Triple-A Norfolk in 14 starts, the last of which was June 20th. He went on the DL five days later, retroactive to June 23rd.
Meanwhile first baseman Joe Mahoney, who has been pretty much the hottest hitter the last few weeks in the O’s farm system, should return soon to the Bowie Baysox lineup, maybe as early as tonight at New Hampshire.
Mahoney left Wednesday night’s game at Portland after the fourth inning and did not play Thursday afternoon either due to leg cramps.
Mahoney is batting .402-6-18 in 23 Baysox games. He has a slugging percentage of .713 and OPS of 1.159.
He has produced 11 multi-hit games in his short time with Bowie, including six games of three hits or more since joining the Baysox on July 9.
He hit .299-9-49 in Frederick until his move to Double-A.
The next four days will provide a real tough test for the Orioles. In sweeping the Angels, the O’s took three from a club that had lost 8 of 11 before it got to Baltimore.
But the White Sox should provide a different and tougher challenge. They have won nine of their last 11 and are 38-13 over their last 51 games. In that time, they have gone from 9 1/2 games out of first to leading the AL Central now by a game and a half.
The Sox, who went 15-3 in interleague play, ended the first half on a 25-5 run. That tied the Major League record for best mark in the last 30 games before the All-Star break. The 1975 Reds and 1990 Mets also went 25-5 to end the first half.
Chicago is a season-best 16 games over the .500 mark now at 62-46.
Should provide a major test for the 3-0, Buck Showalter-led Orioles.
Finally, be here at MASNSports.com today at Noon for a special live video chat with O’s players Jeremy Guthrie and Adam Jones.