Orioles lefty reliever Brian Duensing went on the 15-day disabled list this afternoon, retroactive to June 20, with left elbow inflammation, and lefty Ashur Tolliver was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk.
Duensing said he will have an arthroscopic procedure on Friday that will likely keep him out four to eight weeks. He is hoping for an Aug. 1 return. He said there are what he described as cartilage chips in the elbow that got irritated over the years and will be removed.
How he discovered the issue was in a rather bizarre fashion. It didn’t happen when he was throwing or even after he had been throwing.
“It was in Texas (Monday),” he said. “About the second inning. I was sitting on a chair and I just kind of rolled over and felt something weird. Next thing you know it was swollen and I couldn’t move it. Next thing you know, I was in the training room and didn’t really do anything. I did nothing to it. Wasn’t throwing. I had played catch earlier that day and felt fine. I was just sitting there. I don’t know what happened.
“That is disappointing and kind of freaky. I hadn’t had any arm problems since I had Tommy John (surgery) in 2004. For it to just pop up like that seems a little out of the ordinary. Just have to take care of it and move on. The fact that nothing is torn is a positive. It could be worse.
“There are some floating bodies around where the tricep meets the elbow that got inflamed. Now my elbow is full of fluid and I can’t really bend it. It is not too painful, it just feels like there is a lot of pressure in there.
“Anywhere between four to eight weeks (to get back). Probably looking around six, I’m guessing. Hopefully around Aug 1 or so I’ll be ready to go. That date should not be unattainable to get back.”
Duensing recorded a 5.40 ERA over seven games with the Orioles after they selected his contract from Norfolk on June 2. In 6 2/3 innings, he allowed nine hits and four runs.
Now he’ll get this injury taken care of and he hopes to return for the final weeks of the season.
“It’s extremely disappointing,” he said. “I was kind of starting to feel comfortable, both in the clubhouse and here on the mound again. My stuff was starting to get sharp again so that is disappointing. Hopefully when I get back there will be plenty of baseball left and I can help out.”
Meanwhile, the 28-year-old Tolliver returns for his second stint with the team. He made his major league debut May 26 at Houston. He has an ERA of 6.75 in four games. He joined the Orioles from Double-A Bowie and was optioned out to Triple-A Norfolk on June 1. In five games with the Tides, he gave up two runs and seven hits over 6 2/3 innings with two walks, seven strikeouts and a 2.70 ERA.
“It was good, feeling good,” Tolliver said of his time with the Tides. “Just was continuing to work with the staff down there and everything was good. There is not much different (from Double-A to Triple-A). I know most of those guys, a lot of familiarity there. Just a new ballpark and new league.”
Tolliver said he can draw on that earlier time in the majors as he returns now.
“Yeah, I was able to take some stuff with me, things I learned from Zach (Britton) and Darren (O’Day),” he said. “Just applying that while I was down there and just continued to work on things with some suggestions they threw my way.
“I was talking to (Bowie pitching coach) Alan Mills. I caught up with him on the way and hadn’t talked with him in awhile. He said, ‘Hey, just do what you do. Don’t try to be somebody you’re not and everything else will take care of itself.’ It’s the same game here.”