ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles are holding an injury reunion prior to tonight’s series opener against the Rays.
Pitchers Richard Bleier and Nate Karns and designated hitter Mark Trumbo have joined the team from the spring training facility in Sarasota to provide updates on their health and allow the athletic training staff to check their progress.
Bleier received an injection that reduced the inflammation in his left shoulder and is on a throwing program that will lead to a bullpen session Wednesday afternoon. Karns said his right forearm feels good, he’s already thrown a bullpen session two days ago and has another scheduled for Wednesday.
Trumbo is building up strength in his surgically repaired knee - he underwent the procedure in September to repair cartilage - and is hoping to gradually get back to full baseball activities. He’s been doing some throwing at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.
“The last few days have been going fine,” said Bleier, who allowed seven runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. “I got a shot in my shoulder, which seemed to calm that down a little bit and I’ve resumed throwing. I throw a bullpen tomorrow and kind of carry on from there.
“I kind of thought that it was going to go something like this where it was just, calm my shoulder down a little bit. Like I said, I didn’t really want to miss a huge chunk of time throwing. I feel like I need to keep progressing in my rehab.”
Bleier has undergone a reset, as manager Brandon Hyde described it.
“Just trying to finish up the rehab process as opposed to trying to scrape by in a big league game,” Bleier said.
“I think the whole point is to be on a regular throwing program and to work my way into those games soon in extended and then start a rehab assignment shortly after that. As far as exact time, I’m not sure, but hopefully sooner than later.”
Karns is on the IL with a forearm strain after missing last season due to an elbow injury. He’s allowed an unearned run and seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings, twice used as an opener.
Bleier’s assignment is retroactive to April 10, Karns a day earlier.
“It’s been well,” Karns said. “We’ve only been on (a throwing program) for a couple of days now, but we threw our first bullpen two days ago, we’ve got another one tomorrow. If everything keeps trending the way it is, should be right off schedule to get off the DL.
“I wasn’t overly concerned at the beginning. It wasn’t anything we were really scared of. We were just being precautionary. Velo was kind of dipping, but at the same time I was able to still pitch. There were mixed signals there. We wanted to make sure everything was safe and ready to go. We went on the 10-day IL and we’re almost through it.”
Karns doesn’t think he’ll need sporadic breaks over the course of the summer. He wants to be available to pitch out of the bullpen whenever he’s needed.
“I hope not,” he said. “For the most part, this is something we felt was in my best interest for the big picture.”