Satisfied with the adjustments Chris Ray has made since he was optioned to Double-A Bowie about two weeks ago, the Orioles recalled the right-handed reliever and placed Daniel Cabrera on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain.
Ray pitched 4 2/3 innings in his return to Bowie, collecting three saves. The 23-year-old was 0-3 with the Orioles with a 2.96 ERA in 21 games before being optioned on Aug. 9.
"We talked to the coaching staff at Bowie ... and they said that he got back to the way he was pitching at the beginning of the year," Orioles executive vice president Jim Beattie said of Ray, who pitched a scoreless inning last night. "He rested his arm. We used him an awful lot [when] we didn't have a long man there for a while."
When discussing the decision to option Ray earlier this month, Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo said that the club wanted Ray to get back into the role for which he is best suited, which is pitching late in games. Ray yielded only one run in his first 17 appearances, but he gave up earned runs in his last four, entering in the earlier innings.
"When we originally sent Chris down, it wasn't that we didn't like him," Perlozzo said. "He had a great arm and was doing well, and then he got into a little bad rut. We wanted him to get some things resolved in his delivery, freshen up his arm and get some confidence back."
Cabrera, who injured his back warming up for his last start, will need a couple of bullpen sessions before rejoining the rotation. The move was retroactive to Aug. 17, the day of the injury.
John Maine will be the fifth starter while Cabrera and Sidney Ponson are on the DL.
Baldwin in, Grimsley out?
The Orioles are expected to make another roster move today when James Baldwin, whom they claimed off waivers from Texas on Monday, is activated. One possible move could be designating right-handed reliever Jason Grimsley for assignment.
Since returning quicker than expected after offseason ligament-transplant surgery on his elbow, Grimsley has given up 13 earned runs and 17 hits, including five home runs, in 14 2/3 innings.
Baldwin, who posted a 1.61 ERA in 12 relief appearances for the Orioles earlier this season, will return as their long reliever.
"We didn't want to lose him the first time," Beattie said. "When I saw him in Minnesota, he said do whatever you can to get me back. This was an opportunity for us to do that."
The organization is also in the midst of discussing potential call-ups with rosters eligible to expand starting Sept. 1. While B.J. Surhoff will likely be activated today or tomorrow from the disabled list, Beattie said that Ponson, Cabrera and catcher Geronimo Gil likely won't return until sometime early next month.
Perlozzo said that he'd like to bring up another infielder, an outfielder who can pinch run, a couple of pitchers and a third catcher - potentially Eli Whiteside if Gil is not ready. Asked about the possibility of bringing up burly first baseman Walter Young from Triple-A Ottawa, Perlozzo said that move hasn't been heavily discussed.
Palmeiro feels he's ready
Rafael Palmeiro sat out a fifth straight game with a sprained ankle. He has played in just two of 11 games since returning from his steroid suspension.
"I've done my treatment and I've taken my medicine," said Palmeiro, who said this is the longest he's been sidelined for an injury his whole career. "My thought was that I was going to play today, but I'll do whatever [Perlozzo] decides. ... I am anxious to start getting back in there every day."
Perlozzo said that Palmeiro will rejoin the lineup when he's able to play first base.