KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Jake Arrieta, the Orioles' leader in wins, has decided to have his right elbow examined in California next week and will be shut down for at least a start and likely the rest of the season.
Arrieta, 25, has been dealing with a fibrous mass in his right elbow — similar to a bone spur, but softer — for years and considered having surgery last season before choosing to pitch through it.
orthopedic surgeon Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Los Angeles Angels team physician, next Wednesday.
If Arrieta chooses surgery, he could have the mass removed within days of his initial appointment, allowing him to be ready to pitch by next spring training, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. A decision on surgery will not be made until Arrieta meets with Yocum.
Showalter said he spoke to Arrieta on the plane from New York to Kansas City and Arrieta wanted Yocum, who has examined him previously, to take another look.
"The good news is there's not any pain in the area that's usually consistent with ligament issues," Showalter said. "I got a sneaking suspicion of where it's going to go, but we'll see. We'll hope for the best."
Arrieta, who is 10-8 with a 5.05 ERA in 22 starts in his first full season in the majors, will not pick up a ball until his appointment with Yocum, so he is a candidate for the disabled list. It hasn't been decided who will replace him, but the club could bring back one of the pitchers sent out this weekend, such as Jason Berken or Chris Tillman, or recall someone else such as recently acquired left-hander Zach Phillips.
Tommy Hunter, whom the Orioles traded for Saturday, could make his first Orioles start Friday, which would have been Arrieta's turn.
Orioles claim Reyes
In an attempt to bolster their pitching staff, the Orioles claimed 26-year-old left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes off waivers Tuesday and will activate him Wednesday in Kansas City.
Reyes made 20 starts this year for the Toronto Blue Jays, going 5-8 with a 5.40 ERA in 110 innings. He pitched at least six innings in 10 of those starts. He also tied a major league record by starting 28 consecutive games without a win — which spanned three years — before beating the Cleveland Indians on May 30.
"He's 26 and versatile, and we need as much depth as we can get," said Andy MacPhail, the Orioles' president of baseball operations.
A former Atlanta Braves farmhand, Reyes has a 3.51 ERA in 121 minor league games. The plan is for him to pitch in the Orioles' bullpen, Showalter said. To make room for him on the 40-man roster, outfielder Luke Scott (shoulder surgery) was moved to the 60-day disabled list.
The Orioles officially cut ties with right-hander Justin Duchscherer, who was signed in the offseason for a guaranteed $700,000 plus incentives. He never pitched in an affiliated game, staying in Sarasota, Fla., to rehabilitate his surgically repaired left hip.
"We just didn't see any light at the end of that tunnel," MacPhail said.
The oft-injured Duchscherer will undergo his fourth hip surgery — second on his left hip — Thursday in Nashville, Tenn. Dr. Thomas Byrd, who has performed the other three surgeries, will again operate on Duchscherer. The Orioles will assume the cost of the surgery.
MacPhail said he knew the signing was risky this offseason, but "sometimes you have to take risks."
Hunter joins Orioles