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Orioles place Cobb on IL, recall Eshelman

@JoeTrezz
September 4, 2020

Another hole has opened in Baltimore’s rotation, at least temporarily. The Orioles on Friday scratched Alex Cobb, hours before Game 1 of their scheduled doubleheader against the Yankees, tabbing right-hander Thomas Eshelman in his place. Cobb was placed on the injured list for undisclosed reasons. This is not the first

Another hole has opened in Baltimore’s rotation, at least temporarily. The Orioles on Friday scratched Alex Cobb, hours before Game 1 of their scheduled doubleheader against the Yankees, tabbing right-hander Thomas Eshelman in his place.

Cobb was placed on the injured list for undisclosed reasons.

This is not the first time Eshelman has been summoned last minute to the mound. He made two starts earlier this season in place of John Means, and he provided valuable emergency relief behind injured Wade LeBlanc on Aug. 23 against the Red Sox. The 26-year-old is 3-0 with a 3.48 ERA in seven games (two starts) this season.

The shakeup was part of a flurry of roster moves the Orioles made prior to Friday’s doubleheader. They also selected the contract of Branden Kline from their alternate training site, recalled infielder Ramón Urías as their 29th man for the doubleheader and announced outfielder Mason Williams cleared outright waivers. Williams was designated for assignment on Tuesday.

Kline, a native of Frederick, Md., made 34 appearances as a rookie for the Orioles in 2019, pitching to a 5.93 ERA in those outings. This is the 28-year-old’s first stint with the big league club this season.

Fresh face
For months, No. 11 prospect Zac Lowther had been a conspicuous omission from the Orioles’ alternate training site in Bowie while he rehabbed an oblique strain off-site. Fully healed, Lowther was added to the Orioles’ player pool Friday and joined the camp at Bowie. The Orioles now have 58 players in their pool.

A crafty left-hander with a high-spin fastball and deceptive delivery, Lowther went 13-7 with a 2.55 ERA across 26 starts at Double-A last year. His assignment is for development purposes, and unlikely to result in a big league promotion down the stretch.

From the trainer's room
It’s going to be a little longer before the Orioles get right-hander Shawn Armstrong back in their bullpen. Armstrong won’t return from the IL when eligible Saturday as he works his way back from left hip joint inflammation.

Hyde said Amrstrong would test it in a bullpen session Saturday, with an eye toward returning at some point next week. Armstrong has been a revelation this year in middle relief, going 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA across 11 appearances.

Back in action
Sidelined with a minor knee issue for two games, Hanser Alberto returned to the lineup for Friday’s Game 1, batting sixth and playing second base.

Jamming his knee in last Monday’s 4-3 win over the Blue Jays, Alberto said the pain was so severe he cried. But imaging revealed no structural damage, and he was back in the lineup after testing the knee out Friday afternoon. Alberto entered Friday batting .321 with 45 hits on the season.

The Orioles also got slugger Renato Núñez back in the lineup immediately, one game after he left early due to some minor hamstring tightness. Núñez was back at first base and batting cleanup in Game 1.

Joe Trezza covers the Orioles for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.