Pie put on 15-day disabled list
Outfielder strains left rotator cuff on Thursday
OAKLAND -- An already injury-depleted Orioles squad was dealt another blow prior to Friday's game when the team placed outfielder Felix Pie on the 15-day disabled list with a left rotator cuff strain.
Pie has been plagued by left shoulder injuries all spring; reaggravating the injury while throwing home during the team's Opening Day loss and again while swinging in the seventh inning of Thursday's 6-2 defeat to the Athletics. Pie walked in that plate appearance and went on to score, but was seen clutching his left shoulder as he crossed home and did not return to the game.
"Pie was putting up some good offensive numbers for us; the problem was I couldn't get him out there often enough," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said. "This is an unfortunate situation. It is probably best for him that he goes back to Baltimore and we can get him taken care of."
According to the team's press release, Pie is also suffering from an upper back muscle strain and Trembley hinted that the outfielder -- scheduled for an MRI on Monday -- could be shelved beyond the minimum 15 days.
"I haven't seen what they are classifying this as, shoulder soreness, lat strain. I think it's a couple of things to be honest with you," Trembley said.
For the Orioles, being without Pie for any length of time is a significant loss. He has been one of the few bright spots in the team's underachieving offense, and entered Thursday's game batting .471 with a homer and an RBI. Pie went 0-for-3 with a walk on Thursday, but is still hitting a team-high .400 in eight games.
"I have faith in God that I can pick up where I left off," Pie said. "But it's disappointing the way the team is playing. They need me and I got off to the best start in my career and now I have this setback."
The 1-9 Orioles entered Friday's game a Major League-worst 1-for-36 with runners in scoring position and two outs, with a total RISP average of .135 (10-for-74). They've stranded 77 runners on base and have been outscored by their opponents 55-29.
"We're getting outscored two to one. We're struggling with men on base," Trembley said. "It's early in the year so hopefully, we can get that taken care of and [Pie will] be back to rejoin us. But it might be a while."
In Pie's place, the Orioles recalled outfielder Lou Montanez, who arrived from Triple-A Norfolk about an hour before game time. Montanez had a robust exhibition campaign with Baltimore, batting .319 in 20 Grapefruit League games. In his first seven contests at Norfolk, he hit .259 (7-for-27) with five RBIs.
The Orioles will likely use a platoon of Nolan Reimold and designated hitter Luke Scott in left field, but Montanez's presence adds another option off the bench. Scott was scheduled to start Friday's game with Reimold at DH.
"He gives us some depth," Trembley said of Montanez, who will be able to spell all three outfield spots for the O's. "He's swinging the bat good. He had a nice Spring Training. We'll try to find a way to see if he can help us.
"But really, we just need to get some production throughout the lineup. People are asking me what I would like, what I would wish for. I'd like to be able to get a double-digit run scoring first few innings and then see what we can do from there. Put some runs on the board early and then add on."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.