Orioles Taking The Long View With Coffey's Rehab





BALTIMORE—Now that lefthander Cameron Coffey has put his elbow and shoulder injuries behind him, maybe he can focus on feeling good about his results.

The Orioles drafted Coffey out of a Texas high school in the 22nd round in 2009, knowing that he had Tommy John surgery in March of that year. They considered him to be a wise investment, a pitcher who would be worth the wait.

The wait has been longer than anticipated because Coffey came down with shoulder tendinitis last year. The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder didn't make his professional debut until August, going 0-1, 5.73 in 11 innings with the Orioles' Rookie-level Gulf Coast League affiliate.

"In spring training, everything was great," Coffey, 20, told MASNsports.com. "Around the middle of May, I started noticing my shoulder would get exhausted very quickly, and after I pitched it would be sore. I reported that to the training staff.

"They shut me down and I had an MRI and got a cortisone shot and that took care of any inflammation, and I rehabbed it for six weeks and got rid of that soreness."

The precise diagnosis, according to Coffey, was "tendinopathy"—a fancy way of saying tendon soreness—of two of the four rotator cuff muscles.

"It was nothing out of the ordinary, and a couple of guys looked at it and no one saw anything alarming. Just rest and rehab for it," he said. "The plan for now is to give an extra month of rest for the shoulder because there is nothing better than rest for it."

That meant delaying his throwing program until February.

"The Orioles are trying to keep things more in the long-term for me," he said. "No one is too concerned if I break with (low Class A) Delmarva, and we are focusing two or three years down the road in the big picture."

The Orioles paid well over slot for Coffey, giving him a $990,000 signing bonus to pass up a scholarship offer to Duke.

"I want to show people what I can do when I'm healthy," he said. "My stuff last year was not even half of what I've got in the tank."

Bird Seed

• The Orioles signed lefthander Clay Rapada to a minor league deal with a spring training invite. Rapada was 0-0, 4.00 in nine innings with the Rangers last season, his third team since the Cubs signed him as a nondrafted free agent in 2002.

• According to a Baltimore Sun report, the Orioles' list of spring invitees also is expected to include righthanders Mitch Atkins and Raul Rivero, catcher Caleb Joseph, and infielders Ryan Adams and Tyler Henson.