The Orioles are starting to get back some of their key players from the disabled list, but it seems like there's another injury looming at every turn.
The good news Monday was that infielder Mark Reynolds (oblique strain) was activated from the disabled list and started the team's series opener against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Outfielder Endy Chavez (intercostal strain) was en route to Toronto to join the club. He's scheduled to be activated Tuesday. Both Reynolds and Chavez were on minor league rehab assignments in Double-A Bowie.
The news on right-handed reliever Stu Pomeranz wasn't as positive. Pomeranz, the 27-year-old rookie who provided the Orioles bullpen with its first clear-cut long-relief option, injured his left oblique while warming up during Sunday's game. An MRI taken Monday morning revealed a tear in the muscle, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
"Not very encouraging," Showalter said. "He's got a pretty good tear in there. So I don't think it will be an imminent DL return. That's the early read on it.
"It seems like we gain one or two and we lose one or two. It's a kick in the pants losing Pomeranz. He was a big help to our bullpen. Endy and Mark will be good to see, but I really like what I've seen from some of the young guys coming up. It's been good from that standpoint. We've been able to look at them and let them get acclimated a bit, and who knows? Some of them might stay."
Both Reynolds and Chavez struggled this season before going on the disabled list. Reynolds was hitting .191/.337/.324 with one homer and nine RBIs in 27 games and made five errors in 15 games at third base, while Chavez was hitting .133/.167/.175 in 20 games.
Reynolds, who arrived in Toronto at around 1 p.m. Monday, was scheduled to play his third game at Bowie on Monday, but the Pomeranz move accelerated his return.
For Reynolds, last year's Orioles home-run leader, the DL stint servedtwo purposes. One was obvious -- recovering from his mild oblique strain. But it also gave Reynolds time to get away from his early-season struggles.
"Hopefully, I can use this as a breath of fresh air and a fresh start and come back and contribute because the guys are playing well," Reynolds said before Monday's game. "I had a rough start and all that is definitely behind me and it's in the past."
Reynolds said the strain will be something he will have to monitor over the course of the season. He had a heating pad over his side before batting practice.
"It's the first time I've ever hurt it, so it takes some getting used to, just having the confidence in it that it's better and just letting it go with no reservations," Reynolds said.
Showalter said Monday that Reynolds will be used in different spot -- third base, first base and DH. With left fielder Nolan Reimold still shelved with a bulging disk in his neck, Chavez will continue to see time in left field, especially with rookie Xavier Avery in a 3-for-27 slump.
Around the horn