Orioles place Danny Coulombe, club’s top left-handed reliever, on injured list with left biceps tendinitis – Boston Herald


After allowing five runs in back-to-back losses to the Houston Astros, the Orioles’ third-best reliever is heading to the injured list.

Danny Coulombe, the best left-hander in Baltimore’s bullpen, was placed on the 15-day injured list Wednesday morning with biceps tendinitis, the Orioles announced before their matinee against the Astros. The IL stint is retroactive to Aug. 9. Right-hander Joey Krehbiel was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to replace Coulombe on the 26-man roster.

Manager Brandon Hyde said the hope is Coulombe can return to the Orioles “right when the IL stint is over.” The earliest Coulombe can return is Aug. 24.

Coulombe was a nondescript addition at the end of spring training when the Orioles acquired him from the Minnesota Twins for cash. But the veteran lefty has turned out to be one of Hyde’s most trusted relievers, often pitching in high-leverage situations before the All-Star duo of Yennier Cano and Félix Bautista. In 47 appearances, the 33-year-old has a 2.77 ERA with an elite 30.2% strikeout rate.

The 39 innings Coulombe has pitched this season are his most in a major league season since 2017, when he threw 51 2/3 innings with the Oakland Athletics. He accumulated 54 2/3 innings between the majors and minors in 2021. Before he was placed on the IL, Coulombe was on pace to pitch 55 innings this season, which would have been his most since 2015.

“He warmed up a couple times two nights ago, just didn’t feel like his arm was getting loose,” Hyde said. “Danny’s pitched a ton this year. Usually when you’re a left-handed reliever, there’s nights when you get up and maybe you don’t get used. He’s just had a heavy workload so far this year, just got a little bit of soreness.”

While he hasn’t been as dominant as Cano or Bautista, Coulombe is having a career year with Baltimore after eight years as a journeyman with the Athletics, Los Angeles Dodgers, Twins and minor league affiliates of the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers. Despite ranking in the 2nd percentile in fastball velocity at around 91 mph, Coulombe ranks in the top 25% of virtually every key metric Statcast tracks, according to Baseball Savant. His 84.9 mph average exit velocity is best on the Orioles and in the top 2% of major league pitchers, and so is his 34.4% chase rate.

Krehbiel was optioned Wednesday when the Orioles activated Jacob Webb, a right-hander they claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. Krehbiel, a member of Baltimore’s bullpen for most of 2022 with a 3.90 ERA, pitched two scoreless outings after the Orioles selected his contract from Triple-A Norfolk on July 30.

Coulombe hasn’t pitched since Saturday, but his IL stint is retroactive to Wednesday because Krehbiel was the player who was recalled. When recalling a player because of injury, the retroactive date can’t be before the recalled player was optioned.

The only left-hander in the Orioles’ bullpen is Cionel Pérez.


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