BOWIE, Md. - Wei-Yin Chen’s rehab assignment, which could be a short one, begins tonight at Prince George’s Stadium and Nolan Reimold’s rehab continues as the Double-A Bowie Baysox host the Harrisburg Senators.
Bryce Harper will play left field and bat second for Harrisburg, putting three current big leaguers on the field at first pitch tonight.
Chen is expected to throw 75-80 pitches tonight, which could get him five or six innings. He has pitched twice in simulated games and this will be the first time he’s ever pitched in a minor league game in the United States.
Chen has not pitched for the Orioles since May 12. He is 3-3 with a 3.04 ERA in eight starts, but has been out and on the disabled list with a strained oblique since May 14. If this outing goes well, he could rejoin the O’s rotation next Thursday at Chicago.
Meanwhile, after going just 2-for-27 in his first eight rehab games for Bowie, Reimold is 5-for-11 with a triple in his last two games. He could possibly rejoin the Orioles as early as Tuesday.
“I think he is really starting to look comfortable offensively. His swings are better and he’s taking a shorter path to the ball,” Bowie manager Gary Kendall said.
“He’s played the outfield several games and his routes have been good on the ball. He threw a guy out at second base from the left-field corner. He legged out a triple the other day, which was nice to see.”
Reimold has been alternating between the DH role and playing in left field. He was due to DH last night but the game was rained out, so he’s back in left tonight.
The newest member of the Baysox arrived here yesterday. Left-handed pitching prospect Eduardo Rodriguez was promoted from Single-A Frederick, where he went 6-4 with a 2.85 ERA in 14 starts and 85 1/3 innings.
The Orioles’ fifth-rated prospect according to Baseball America will make his Double-A debut here Monday night at 7:05 p.m. against Akron.
“I saw him some in spring training and in big league camp,” Kendall said. “I thought for a young kid, he had a tremendous amount of polish. He gets all his pitches over the plate and his delivery is really good. He’s a guy with a real high ceiling.”
The addition of Rodriguez to Bowie’s staff will mean the Baysox will go with a six-man rotation for now. It also includes Eddie Gamboa, Tyler Wilson, Devin Jones, Mike Wright and Jake Pettit. The Baysox also have five scheduled doubleheaders in July, so the six-man staff might work just fine for now.
Bowie catcher Brian Ward went on the disabled list yesterday. He has a left wrist contusion, but an MRI did not show any break. He was hit by a pitch in a game on June 20 and could return in a week or so.
In 29 Bowie games, Ward is batting .250 with a homer and 17 RBIs. He has thrown out 12 of 26 attempted basestealers.
Tonight’s game will start at 6:35 and I’ll post some blog updates during the night.
Tonight’s Baysox lineup:
3B Ty Kelly
SS Niuman Romero
LF Nolan Reimold
C Caleb Joseph
DH Seth Loman
RF Garabez Rosa
1B Aaron Baker
2B Josh Horton
CF Kyle Hudson
By the way, there are seven players combined in the lineups tonight that have at least some big league time - Reimold, Romero, Hudson and Chen for Bowie and Harper, Sandy Leon and Jerad Head for Harrisburg.
The Baysox posted this on their Twitter account: Hey fans tickets are still available!!! Due to overwhelming demand, they can now ONLY be purchased by visiting the Baysox box office.