After shoulder scare, Tatum returns to Orioles

Catcher Craig Tatum returns to the Orioles today and will start the game, catching Jeremy Guthrie and batting ninth in the series finale against Kansas City.

Not only is Tatum thrilled to be back in the major leagues, but he is very relieved he is not dealing with a major shoulder injury. In early May with Triple-A Norfolk, Tatum made a throw in a game and felt big-time time pain in that right shoulder that sent him to the disabled list.

“When I threw a ball I thought I was dying, my shoulder was hurting so bad,” Tatum said. “Rehabbed it and now it feels great. Hope it stays that way. There was a throw I made and my shoulder popped. I thought you could tear it like an elbow. I didn’t know what was going on. But the MRI showed nothing, so I guess it was just inflammation.”

He can talk about it now like it was not a big deal, but at the time it felt like a major issue.

“My arm went numb and I thought I was done. All I could think about was, time to go to rehab for the third time and I didn’t want to do it. Glad it was only 16 days of rehab and not a year,” he said.

Tatum was out from May 6-20 and recently came off the DL and played three more games for the Tides. He said his throwing is fine now, no restrictions or pain anymore.

“It feels good now. It didn’t hurt the last few games I played in,” Tatum said. “My throws are fine, I threw two guys out the first game back. I’ve been long tossing, it’s fine.”

Tatum, who hit .281 in 43 O’s games last season, was batting .200 this year for Norfolk with no homers, seven RBIs and an OPS of .536 over 21 games and 65 at-bats.

Tatum should feel comfortable catching Jeremy Guthrie, a pitcher he has worked with before.

“I sat in the video room last night and watched the game with him. We talked and hopefully we’re on the same page. I tried to watch as much video as I could last night,” he said.

“I’m just glad to be back.”

Minor league note: The Orioles have released right-handed pitcher Jacob Rasner. The 24-year-old was 1-2 with a 10.45 ERA over seven games at Single-A Frederick. He gave up 35 hits in 20 2/3 innings. Rasner was selected by the Orioles last December in the Double-A phase of the Rule 5 draft.

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