Orioles activate Bleier from injured list

The Orioles have made a significant adjustment to reliever Richard Bleier’s pitching schedule.

He won’t report to Triple-A Norfolk as planned.

He won’t stay in the minors.

Bleier was removed from his injury rehab assignment at Single-A Frederick this afternoon and activated from the 10-day injured list, giving the bullpen a second left-hander along with Paul Fry as the Orioles begin a four-game series tonight in Cleveland.

The corresponding roster move again involves reliever Jimmy Yacabonis, who’s been optioned to Norfolk.

bleier-after-save-with-sucre-sidebar.jpgBleier made four appearances on his rehab assignment, most recently working a scoreless inning Tuesday for the Keys in Wilmington. He allowed one run over four combined innings - twice pitching for Frederick and twice with Double-A Bowie.

Bleier allowed five hits, walked one batter, struck out two and convinced the Orioles that he was healthy and better equipped to contribute. The movement on his pitches no longer stalled.

A spring training designed to slow-play Bleier following his June lat surgery enabled him to make the opening day roster, but he allowed seven runs and nine hits with two home runs surrendered over 4 1/3 innings. His fourth and final outing came on April 9 against the Athletics, when he was charged with four runs and four hits in 1 1/3 innings.

An examination of Bleier’s left shoulder revealed tendinitis that required an injection and an extended rest period before he began a throwing progression. He was placed on the IL on April 11.

“It’s just been a constant battle with my arm in general and the other night it got to the point where I couldn’t make the pitches I wanted to make,” Bleier said after coming off the active roster. “And when it gets to that I feel like it’s just something that we can treat and kind of get me in a controlled environment where it’s not like I’m doing a rehab assignment in the big leagues.”

Bleier has kept his ERA below 2.00 in his first three major league seasons.

The Orioles recalled Yacabonis again on Saturday, but he didn’t make an appearance before boarding the shuttle, though he warmed in the bullpen last night during Game 2 of the doubleheader in New York. He hugged a few teammates later, the traditional sign that a roster move was coming.

He hasn’t pitched for the Orioles since May 11.

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