Orioles manager Buck Showalter said right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a right ankle sprain, was tentative while throwing during his workout Sunday and therefore will need a rehab assignment.
“Still favoring it a lot, he was trying to protect [the ankle] in his throw,” Showalter said. “So we kind of shortened [the session] up a little bit because it wasn’t getting any better, and we didn’t want to have a setback. … Obviously, he's got some significance in there that we're going to have to clear up before we can pitch him.”
That means Jimenez will not pitch at all for the Orioles during their 10-game road trip to the West Coast to start the second half of the season despite being eligible to come off the DL on July 23. He likely will pitch that day at a minor league affiliate on the East Coast.
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Jimenez, who is 3-8 with a 4.52 ERA in 18 starts, will go with the Orioles on the upcoming road trip and is expected to take two work days before leaving for the rehab assignment. He’ll test it with a work session Thursday in Oakland -- during the Orioles' full workout day -- and the second possibly will occur Sunday, also in Oakland.
If all goes well, Jimenez will pitch one rehab game and then come off the DL and pitch at some point during the first homestand of the second half, which begins July 29.
“I think it will be about two-and-a-half weeks after his last start, so I think he’ll have to make a start [in the minors],” Showalter said.
The Orioles rotation for the 10-game road trip is expected to be right-hander Chris Tillman on Friday in Oakland, followed by left-hander Wei-Yin Chen and right-hander Kevin Gausman. Right-hander Bud Norris will start Monday’s game at the Los Angeles Angels, right-hander Miguel Gonzalez will start Tuesday’s and Tillman will pitch the finale. The four-game series in Seattle should be, in order, Chen, Gausman, Norris and Gonzalez.
Showalter said two recent additions, reliever Preston Guilmet and catcher Steve Clevenger, likely will remain with the club through the Oakland series. The team then will have to make two moves to bring up Norris and Gonzalez from the minors; the veteran pitchers were sent down to get work in during the All-Star break.