The Orioles could get utility man Ryan Flaherty back by the beginning of next week, manager Buck Showalter said Wednesday. Flaherty has been on the disabled list for two months with a nagging injury in his right throwing shoulder.
Flaherty will start his minor league rehabilitation assignment Thursday playing for Double-A Bowie, and Showalter said Flaherty would likely play there “through the weekend” before being activated from the disabled list.
Showalter has often emphasized the importance of having Flaherty back, especially since he can play all four infield positions and both corner outfield spots. But the Orioles will still be careful with Flaherty’s shoulder, which has bothered him since spring training and required a cortisone and platelet-rich plasma injection to expedite the healing.
“We’re going to start him out at second base and as long as that feels good, we’ll move him around the diamond,” Showalter said. “He’ll probably play a little bit of everywhere. … I just hope he doesn’t have any [setback]. It’s kind of like [you’re looking at] the first couple times he makes some throws and gets in the speed of the game and doesn’t think about it. Bobby [Dickerson] put him through a pretty good workout yesterday and he handled it pretty well.”
Santander coming back
Outfielder Anthony Santander, who was selected in this past winter’s Rule 5 draft, will also begin a rehab assignment at Bowie on Thursday. But he’s likely to be there much longer and could use all of the 20 days position players can have on a minor league rehab assignment.
Santander has spent the entire season on the DL with a right forearm strain, and he can no longer fulfill the Rule 5 requirements this season. But the service time he logs to meet the 90-day requirement on the 25-man roster can be carried over to next season.
When the Orioles drafted Santander, he hadn’t played beyond the High-A level. So even though it is a rehab assignment, Santander will be playing at the his highest level of his career at Bowie.
“He kind of needs to go through his spring training,” Showalter said. “He’s had a lot of setbacks along the way and we hope it’s behind him. … I think we know when we acquired him that there might be some issues, but the talent level is there. If we can get him back to full health, we might have something there.”
Santander, 22, never played the outfield in spring training — his bat limited to the designated hitter spot — but he will play the corner positions on rehab, adding to a crowded Bowie outfield that includes Austin Hays, Cedric Mullins and DJ Stewart.
Around the horn: First baseman Chris Davis returned to the starting lineup for Wednesday’s series finale at the Rays after missing the first two games with a stomach virus. He was 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. … The Orioles had homered in 10 straight games, their longest streak since June 9-19, 2016. … The Orioles will start Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman and Wade Miley in that order in their series at the Texas Rangers after Thursday’s day off. Right-hander Ubaldo Jiménez would make his next start Monday against the Kansas City Royals when the team returns home. Right-hander Dylan Bundy would then make his next start Tuesday on four extra days’ rest as the Orioles attempt to pace him with the focus on him readhing the 180-inning mark. … Jiménez’s nine strikeouts Wednesday gave him 1,669 in his career, passing Pedro Astacio for fifth all time among Dominican-born pitchers.