After receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection in his right elbow/forearm Wednesday, Orioles infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce said he won’t participate in baseball activities for 10 days.
With just 17 regular-season games left, Pearce wouldn’t rule out a potential regular-season return, but he acknowledged that they need to “take care of what’s going on right now.”
“It’s frustrating, especially with where we are at in the season,” Pearce said of the discomfort in his right elbow/forearm, which he’s been dealing with off and on all season. “We are so close to the playoffs. Just the timing of it, it’s just not really ideal. It’s very unfortunate.”
The O’s made three roster moves before Thursday’s game against the Rays. They selected infielder Paul Janish’s contract from Triple-A Norfolk and recalled right-hander Mike Wright from the Tides. They also recalled left-hander Chris Lee from Double-A Bowie and placed him on the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for Janish.
Manager Buck Showalter said the Orioles recalled Wright to provide additional length in the bullpen in case a starter is forced out of a game early.
As for Janish, he provides an extra backup infielder behind Ryan Flaherty jersey, who was previously the only other one. Janish has appeared in nine games at third base and six at shortstop for the Orioles this year.
“If Flaherty plays and you take him out or pinch-hit for him, you’ve got an issue, and that shouldn’t be the case in September,” Showalter said.
After allowing five runs over five innings in the Orioles’ 5-2 loss to the Red Sox on Monday, Bundy has a 6.62 ERA over his past seven outings. For a guy who has been limited to just 63 1/3 innings the past three years due to injury, fatigue is a possibility. Despite eclipsing 100 innings on the season Monday, Bundy denied any physical limitations playing into his struggles.
Prior to Monday’s start, Showalter acknowledged the unknown the Orioles are dealing with. Tommy John surgery in 2013 and a right shoulder injury last year have marred the career of the 2011 fourth overall selection and made it tough for the O’s to determine a suitable workload in his first full season since 2012.
“As long as we proceed down this path the way we are handling him, I’m hoping. … I would love to think he’s pitching [in] late October,” Showalter said before the game, “but we’ll see.”
Bundy’s finish to the year is instrumental to the Orioles’ postseason aspirations given the staff’s lack of consistency outside of Chris Tillman jersey and Kevin Gausman. Ubaldo Jimenez (5.94 ERA), Yovani Gallardo (5.77 ERA) and Wade Miley (7.55 ERA with Orioles) haven’t offered much reliability behind the top two starters.
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While the 23-year-old Bundy stifled opponents initially, taking consecutive no-hitters into the sixth inning at one point, he’s scuffled lately. He posted a 2.76 ERA in his first six starts compared to the 6.62 ERA in the seven starts since.
Asked about Bundy’s recent struggles, Showalter said Monday’s start was more about the Red Sox’s offense than Bundy.
“Dylan’s doing well,” Showalter said. “I’m real proud of him. He’s going to be a good Major League pitcher. Stays healthy, like you say about any young pitcher, it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch him pitch in the future.”
The Orioles proceeded with caution to open the year, using Bundy out of the bullpen exclusively. He logged just 38 innings in the first half of the season.
There must be a reason. Is it the crab cakes? The cozy dimensions? The hitting backdrop?
“It’s no different to me than any other park. Just somehow it’s going over the fence,” said Betts.
Betts is tied with Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx for most visiting homers by a Red Sox player in a season in one ballpark. Foxx smoked eight homers against the Browns at St. Louis in 1939.
“Mookie, he’s incredible in this ballpark really,” said Red Sox righty Rick Porcello, who earned win No. 21.
For Betts, the home-run fun in Baltimore started on May 31, when he clocked three homers in Boston’s 6-2 victory. The next night, Betts went deep twice in a 13-9 loss.
When the Red Sox started their second trip to Baltimore on Aug. 16, Betts celebrated with a two-homer, five-RBI night that led his team to a 5-3 victory.
Though Betts is having a terrific season (.314/.356/.541, 31 homers, 108 RBIs), he has been quieted in September. His homer on Monday was his first this month. Perhaps there’s no better way for Betts to heat up again than spending four days in Baltimore.
Will Betts at least acknowledge he feels at home in Baltimore?
“No, no,” Betts said with a smile. “I only feel like home when I’m in Nashville. That’s the only place.”