Orioles reinstate Mullins and recall Vespi

The Orioles gained a starting outfielder today and created a little more balance in their bullpen.

Cedric Mullins was reinstated from the 10-day injured list, and the Orioles recalled reliever Nick Vespi from Triple-A Norfolk.

Outfielder Ryan McKenna and reliever Joey Krehbiel were optioned. The move with McKenna came after yesterday’s game.

Mullins is expected to lead off and play center field tonight in Seattle, where the Orioles begin a three-city West Coast swing. He hasn’t played since sustaining another groin injury while running the bases July 15 against the Marlins at Camden Yards.

Four rehab games with Double-A Bowie were deemed sufficient to activate Mullins, who went 3-for-20 with a couple of leaping catches.

Aaron Hicks is supposed to appear in two rehab games with Norfolk and join the Orioles next week in San Diego, which could bump rookie Colton Cowser to the minors. He remains on the active roster and the Orioles have a little more time to figure it out.

Vespi was recalled on May 12, optioned two days later, recalled June 9 and optioned the next day, recalled June 30 and optioned July 18.

A player can’t be optioned more than five times in a season without going on outright assignment waivers.

Vespi has appeared in five games with the Orioles and allowed three runs and nine hits in nine innings. He has a 2.27 ERA, 1.137 WHIP and seven saves in 29 games with Norfolk.

Cionel Pérez was the only left-hander in the bullpen after the Orioles put Danny Coulombe on the 15-day injured list yesterday with biceps tendinitis and moved Cole Irvin into the rotation. He’s starting Saturday night.

Pérez has pitched in back-to-back games and likely won’t be available tonight.

Joey Krehbiel was optioned Monday night and recalled yesterday as the injury replacement.

McKenna is optioned for the second time this season after breaking camp with the team. He was sent down July 5 when the Orioles selected Cowser’s contract from Norfolk, and returned on the 25th after Hicks injured his left hamstring in Philadelphia.

McKenna is batting .248/.304/.366 in 73 games.

The Orioles lost two of three games in Seattle last season and went 2-for-4 overall. They haven't swept a three-game series there since 2012.

The Orioles won two of three at Camden Yards earlier this year.

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