Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Baltimore Orioles
news

Orioles News

Bleier returns from rehab assignment

May 17, 2019

CLEVELAND -- The Baltimore Orioles, owners of the the highest relief earned run average in the league this season, received some expected help Thursday, activating left-hander Richard Bleier from the 10-day injured list prior to the series opener against the Indians at Progressive Field. Unfortunately, his presence wasn’t enough to

CLEVELAND -- The Baltimore Orioles, owners of the the highest relief earned run average in the league this season, received some expected help Thursday, activating left-hander Richard Bleier from the 10-day injured list prior to the series opener against the Indians at Progressive Field.

Unfortunately, his presence wasn’t enough to slow the Indians’ late-game assault in Thursday’s 14-7 loss to Cleveland, and Bleier’s first big league action since April 9 demonstrated that he’s still working his way back into form.

Box score

The lefty logged 1 2/3 innings Thursday night, allowing a pair of run-scoring doubles. Overall, the Orioles bullpen allowed 10 runs in the series-opening loss to Cleveland.

“You can’t win in this league unless you’re putting zeroes up out of the ‘pen,” Hyde said after the game. “We just have to do a better job of pitching overall.”

Bleier, who has posted an ERA below 2.00 in each of the past three seasons, had been on the shelf with left shoulder tendinitis since early April. Prior to sustaining the ailment, the 32-year-old southpaw had allowed seven runs in just 4 1/3 innings this season.

"He’s been pitching well in the Minor Leagues,” Hyde said before the contest. “We felt like he was ready.”

Bleier, who had his 2018 campaign end prematurely due to a lat injury last June, had pitched most recently on a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Frederick. In total, he made four Minor League appearances earlier this month, allowing five hits and one earned run in four innings, striking out a pair.

With Bleier unavailable for much of the early season, Orioles relievers had posted a 5.77 ERA and 5.55 FIP entering their four-game series in Cleveland.

“It was mainly about appearances and getting out there with his stuff,” Hyde said. “We felt like his stuff was going to play and he felt like he was ready to come back.”

Meanwhile, to make room on the 25-man roster for the returning Bleier, the Orioles optioned right-handed pitcher Jimmy Yacabonis to Triple-A Norfolk. The 27-year-old hurler has allowed 12 earned runs in 17 2/3 innings for Baltimore this season.

Monitoring Bundy’s velocity
A dip in velocity during right-handed starter Dylan Bundy’s latest outing led to some concern, but the Orioles are hopeful that the drop in speed on his four-seam fastball will serve as an outlier.

“He’s been the same,” Hyde said. “He gets an extra day actually because of the rainout situation in New York. He’s on the same routine he usually is.”

Bundy averaged 91.6 mph with his fastball last season, but this year, his heater has dipped just below 91 mph. In five innings against the Angels on May 11, the 26-year-old righty averaged 89.9 mph with his four-seamer, his lowest average on the fastball since an outing on April 26, 2017.

“He feels fine,” Hyde said. "I just think he just fatigued a little bit there from that outing for whatever reason. He feels like nothing happened.”

Bundy, who owns a 5.31 ERA over his eight starts this season, is scheduled to start Friday. He will be opposed by Indians righty Jefry Rodriguez.