Now fully healthy, 'pen lefty Danny Coulombe is ready for stretch run

He hasn’t pitched for the Orioles since Aug. 5, but they will be thrilled to have one of their high-leverage relievers back tonight. Lefty Danny Coulombe (left bicep tendinitis) was activated off the 15-day injured list and Nick Vespi was optioned back to Triple-A.

Coulombe has been a great addition for the Baltimore bullpen, going 3-1 with a 2.77 ERA in 47 games. Over 39 innings he has allowed 34 hits with nine walks to 48 strikeouts and with a 1.103 WHIP.

Late in a long season, getting a few days to rest his arm was not necessarily a bad thing.

“I think the bicep tendinitis thing, it was probably something I only needed a few days for," said Coulombe this afternoon. "But honestly at this point, it was one of those things we felt it was best to give me the 15 days and be ready for the stretch run. I think it’s going to be good. Just really exciting to get going now this last month and a half two months."

Coulombe made one rehab appearance and threw a hitless and scoreless inning with two strikeouts Tuesday night for Triple-A Norfolk.

“I’m fully healthy," he said. "I felt great in my rehab outing and I’m just ready to contribute. Everything was normal. Pretty smooth. Thirteen pitches. It was the perfect rehab outing.”

He rejoins an O’s bullpen having a decent run of success and one with an ERA for the year of 3.58 to rank fifth in the AL and sixth in MLB.

“Absolutely. I just want to contribute any way I can. Cionel (Pérez) just has been awesome in the last few weeks, been awesome to watch. And (Jacob) Webb, he’s been impressive. It’s an awesome group. I’m not surprised. Just ready to do what I can to help.”

Coulombe was asked today about relievers coming from other organizations like himself, Pérez and Yennier Cano and having more success with the Orioles than their previous clubs.

“On the pitching side of things, they just do a really good job of putting you in positions to succeed. Whether it’s the part of the order (you are brought in to pitch to) or the situation – they just do a really good job of that. And I’m not saying other places don’t. But I think it’s a great group of guys, everyone is rooting for each other. I don’t know. I really can’t explain it. Just the pitching department here is really good. They tell us, ‘Go with your strengths. Be aggressive and that’s all we ask of you.’ That’s really helpful,” he said.

So a late inning ‘pen weapon is back today and a pitcher that can get out both left and righty batters. Lefties have a .565 OPS against him and right-handers are at .633.

And Coulombe embraces the chance to be in those game-on-the-line spots in the late innings.

“If you’re playing this game and don’t want to pitch in high leverage, you should not be playing this game,” he said. “I think that is what everyone wants and that’s the goal. I’m appreciative of the opportunity.”

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