The Orioles placed right-hander Jason Hammel on the disabled list with a flexor mass in his right arm retroactive to Monday, manager Buck Showalter said before Wednesday's game against the Houston Astros. He's eligible to return Aug. 13.
Hammel said he hopes to have an MRI on Thursday. Showalter said Hammel has had tenderness in the arm and that it has been bothering him when he throws his slider.
"Honestly, until MRI comes back I don't know how to describe it other than that it's tight," Hammel said. "Sometimes it feels like it grabs when I throw. It's not like a pinch, but I think tightness the one thing we can label it as. It's not allowing me to fully extend when I pitch."
Hammel said the discomfort started in spring training and has continued through the year. He pitched through a knee injury last season and figured he could do the same this year. But despite feeling good early in outings, the pain would creep in as games wore on.
"It's not really a pain thing, it's more of an uncomfortable thing," Hammel said. "Hopefully tomorrow, the MRI will tell me something. When something doesn't hurt, it's confusing. When you feel alright to a certain extent, and then things change as you get a little deeper into your outing."
Hammel has struggled recently, losing six straight decisions to fall to 7-8 with a 5.20 ERA. He had allowed at least three runs in seven of his past 10 starts and had three quality starts in that time period.
"He's been managing it pretty well, but just want to see if we can get it resolved in the DL period," Showalter said earlier Wednesday. "To be on the safe side, I think they're trying to set up an MRI to see if we're dealing with something that we don't think we're dealing with."
The move to put Hammel on the disabled list comes as the Orioles acquire Astros right-hander Bud Norris in exchange for outfielder L.J. Hoes, minor league left-hander Josh Hader and a draft pick.
Showalter said Hammel's injury did not have that significant of an impact on the decision to trade for Norris.
"So to say that the Hamm situation, had something to do with it somewhat, but not the driving force," Showalter said. "We just felt like Bud could help us. We'll figure out where everything fits.
Outfielder Steve Pearce, who spent the past two nights at High-A Frederick, rejoined the Orioles. Pearce has been out since the end of June with wrist tendonitis. He joined the Orioles lineup as the designated hitter and batted ninth. Nate McLouth, originally slated to start in center field moved over to left field and Adam Jones moved from designated hitter to center field.
** Right-hander Jairo Asencio cleared waivers and will report to Triple-A Norfolk. He made four appearances for the Orioles and had a 7.71 ERA.
** Outfielder Chris Dickerson is also expected to be with Norfolk on Wednesday after he cleared waivers as well.
** Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada had a solid outing for Norfolk at Pawtucket on Wednesday. He threw 6 2/3 shutout innings and allowed five hits and one walk while striking out 10. He threw 100 pitches, 67 for strikes.
Astros: Villar 6, Hoes 9, Altuve 4, Castro 2, Carter DH, Wallace 3, Barnes 8, Dominguez 5, Grossman 7; Oberholtzer 1
Orioles: McLouth 7, Machado 5, Markakis 9, Jones 8, Davis 3, Wieters 2, Hardy 6, Roberts 4, Pearce DH; Gonzalez 1