Orioles' Luis Lebron Shut Down For Tommy John
BALTIMORE—Double-A Bowie reliever Luis Lebron made such a favorable impression in spring training, it looked like he might debut in the majors later this summer and perhaps get an opportunity to close games.
Unfortunately, Lebron won't be doing anything except resting and rehabbing his right elbow.
Lebron had Tommy John surgery on his elbow in early May and will miss the entire 2010 season. It's a disappointing setback for the 25-year-old Dominican, who saved a combined 20 games at high Class A Frederick and Bowie last season.
"That's a power arm, a guy who we saw in spring training who's got quite a fastball," Orioles manager Dave Trembley said.
Trembley suggested that Lebron speak with Orioles closer Alfredo Simon, who had the same surgery done in May 2009 and returned less than a year later.
"I'm going to tell Simon to get in touch with him and tell him to do the same program so he can come back as soon as Simon," Trembley said.
Lebron pitched in two spring training games after going 3-0, 1.38 for Toros del Este in the Dominican League. Trembley kept raving about Lebron's "big league arm," but it failed the reliever as camp drew to a close.
The Orioles shut down Lebron after reassigning him to minor league camp because of discomfort in the elbow. Lebron had to cut short a bullpen session in early May, and the Orioles scheduled an appointment with renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham. Andrews confirmed the tear in Lebron's ligament and performed surgery the following day.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Lebron went 2-3, 3.00 with 11 saves and 52 strikeouts in 33 innings at Frederick, and 1-0, 1.98 with nine saves and 39 strikeouts in 27 innings at Bowie in 2009. He was named the Orioles' minor league pitcher of the month for August after throwing 14 scoreless innings and striking out 20.
• The Orioles activated outfielder Matt Angle from the disabled list and assigned him to Bowie. Angle, a seventh-round pick in 2007 out of Ohio State, had surgery to remove a broken hamate bone sustained late in spring training.
• Nolan Reimold started at first base for Triple-A Norfolk in mid-May, making just his second appearance at the position in his professional career. He played one inning there with short-season Aberdeen in 2005. The Orioles optioned Reimold so he could regain his stroke and get comfortable at first, in case they decide to move him from the outfield.