BALTIMORE -- The Orioles got some positive news on injured starter Wei-Yin Chen on Saturday morning, with manager Buck Showalter noting that the left-handed pitcher reported to the team's spring facility in Sarasota, Fla., pain free.
"He's going to start jogging in the pool," Showalter said of the immediate plan for Chen's rehab. "It's the type of injury, basically you can't really do anything. That's the first time he's had that on the zero-to-ten scale, so that was encouraging."
Chen has been sidelined since May 12 when he exited the game early after suffering a Grade 2 left oblique strain. Typically obliques are pesky injuries, and there's a chance of doing more damage if Chen were to pick up a ball before he's fully healed. The initial timetable was three or four weeks, although it looks it'll be at least a month before the 27-year-old Chen would be healthy enough to return.
Chen, the Orioles' most consistent starter dating back to the start of last season, is 3-3 with a 3.04 ERA in eight starts this year.
Orioles reach Minor League deal with Rauch
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles, seeking to add a veteran reliever, have agreed to sign right-hander Jon Rauch to a Minor League deal, pending a physical.
Baltimore had some interest in Rauch this winter, although he eventually signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Marlins. The 34-year-old, who will join the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk, Va., on the road early next week, was designated for assignment by Miami on May 17 and later released. He is 1-2 with a 7.56 ERA in 15 games this season.
"Sometimes with a new team, it doesn't work out right away," Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said. "Sometimes when you're a veteran pitcher, it takes a little more time to get into the swing of things. That's really what we're taking a look at."
Rauch has an opt-out in his contract on June 18, which should enable both sides to determine whether the agreement is working out. Rauch has career ERA of 3.90 over an 11-year big league career, and he will be joining his ninth different club. Duquette likened his experience as being similar to that of the departed Luis Ayala.
"He's a qualified Major League reliever," Duquette said of Rauch. "He had a really good year last year. He can set up and hold a game, and he can also save a game. He's got over 60 saves (62) in his Major league career, so he's a good veteran relief presence, and we'll take a look at him at Triple-A and see how it goes."
The Orioles' bullpen, highly successful last season, hasn't been able to replicate that success, and Rauch is expected provide another right-handed option, particularly given the recent loss of Alex Burnett, who was claimed by the Chicago Cubs off waivers and designated again on Saturday.
Duquette seemed encouraged with the club's left-handed options in Norfolk, singling out reliever Mike Belfiore and Chris Jones, who was acquired from Atlanta in exchange for Ayala.
• Double-A Bowie's Henry Urrutia will remain at Bowie, with the organization -- which mulled over a promotion -- instead wanting to see how opposing pitchers adjust and how Urrutia adjusts back. The touted Cuban outfielder could be in Baltimore at some point this season. Urrutia entered play Saturday hitting .321 with three home runs and 20 RBIs.
• Taylor Teagarden (dislocated left thumb) went 1-for-4 in his first rehab game with Norfolk on Friday. He is scheduled to catch Saturday and will DH on Sunday, Showalter said.
• Chris Snyder will catch Kevin Gausman in Sunday afternoon's game. Coupled with Monday's off-day, it would give starter Matt Wieters two days off in a row.
• First-base coach Wayne Kirby is going home for the graduation of one of his children and will miss the team's first game in St. Petersburg on Friday.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.