BALTIMORE—Left-hander Richard Bleier, who threw back-to-back scoreless innings at Double-A Bowie, will return to Frederick on Tuesday. Bleier, who threw a scoreless inning for the Keys on May 7, might throw again for the Keys before he pitches for Triple-A Norfolk at Indianapolis next weekend.
“He came out of the back-to-back feeling good and on track to join us at some point,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said.
Bleier, whose season was cut short by lat surgery last season, is on the injured list because of left shoulder stiffness.
After Saturday’s game, Hyde said the Orioles needed better relief pitching from the sixth through eighth innings, which is where Bleier excelled last season before getting hurt. He had a 1.93 ERA in 31 games. He was ineffective in four games early this season, posting a 14.54 ERA.
“He’s pitched in big spots before in the big leagues,” Hyde said. “He has some experience, and experience would help. He’s had success the last couple of years, pitched really well out of the pen in a variety of roles here.
“I’m looking forward to having someone else bridge the gap to Mike (Mychal Givens) to be able to give the ball to Mike in a big spot with the game on the line, in a save situation. His past history of throwing the ball well in those spots would be helpful.”
Bundy update: Hyde didn’t seem to be alarmed Sunday by the decreased velocity shown by Dylan Bundy in the fifth inning in Saturday’s game, a 7-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. Bundy’s fastball, which is usually in the low 90s, dropped to 87 in the fifth.
“I talked to him this morning,” Hyde said. “He just felt like his velo was down all game long.”
Hyde noted the velocity dropped further in the fifth, and he walked two batters. Bundy’s wildness concerned Hyde as much as the velocity.
“It’s a red flag for me,” Hyde said. “I’m glad we got him out when we did.”
Hays heading north: Austin Hays, who has yet to play this season because of a sprained left thumb, will join the Keys in Frederick on Monday. The Keys were rained out on Sunday.
“It’s good to see him get out of Sarasota and on his way,” Hyde said.
Sisco doing well at Triple-A: Catcher Chance Sisco is batting .287 at Norfolk with six home runs and 23 RBIs. Hyde has been monitoring Sisco’s performance with Tides manager Gary Kendall.
“Chance has been swinging the bat,” Hyde said. “It sounds like he’s taking really good at-bats. His catching is coming along. After a slow start, it’s nice to see him rebound.”
Sisco’s throwing still needs work. He’s thrown out just two of 21 runners attempting to steal (10 percent).
“The leadership aspect that we talked a lot about in spring training, he’s taken that into Norfolk,” Hyde said. “Everybody’s pleased with the progress he’s making.”
Yacabonis is back: Jimmy Yacabonis was recalled before Saturday’s game and pitched two innings, allowing a run on three hits.
Yacabonis had been sent down to Norfolk on April 28 and made three relief appearances, pitching to a 3.18 ERA.
“I felt good. For me, it’s about staying vertical and standing towards the plate and not getting rotational,” Yacabonis said. “First couple of outings I had up here after breaking with the team, I felt good. I was on line.”
Then he had a rough outing at Minnesota, when he allowed four runs in two innings and was sent down.
“Went down [to Norfolk]. Then I ironed things out,” Yacabonis said. “It’s a constant struggle. It’s something I have to reiterate every day. I have to keep my direction towards home plate.”
Yacabonis was used as a starter last year, but that’s not being considered.
“It’s to the point where I have to be comfortable being here in general,” Yacabonis said. “It’s not whether I’m a starter or a reliever. It’s just about being here.”
Even though he’s been called up to the Orioles a number of times over the last three seasons, Yacabonis hasn’t come close to accruing a full year in service time.
“You’ve got to keeping trying stuff,” he said. “You’ve got to keep experimenting.”