Orioles' Klein Goes Back Under The Knife

BALTIMORE—Righthander Dan Klein won't be ready for the start of the 2012 minor league season after having surgery on his right shoulder.

The procedure, performed in August by renowned orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum in Los Angeles, involved using an anchor to repair a tear in Klein's labrum. Normally, two anchors are needed.

"That's good news. There was little damage," farm director John Stockstill said.

Yocum also loosened the shoulder capsule that had tightened from a previous exploratory surgery on Klein's shoulder while he pitched at UCLA.

"Hopefully, that will give him a freer range of motion," Stockstill said, attributing Klein's stress to lingering tightness in the capsule from surgery three years ago. "That answers some questions as to why it was taking him two to three days to really feel good. If you look at his pitching innings over the course of the last three years, he was always capping out at a low level."

The Orioles were relieved to learn that the Klein, a reliever and third-round pick last year, hadn't suffered any damage to his rotator cuff.

Klein, 23, is expected to begin a throwing program in mid-December, and he could begin pitching for an affiliate by June of next year. He had not appeared in a game since June 1 at Double-A Bowie. He went 3-1, 1.11 in 16 games for high Class A Frederick and Bowie, with six walks and 37 strikeouts in 32 innings.

Klein reported to the Orioles' minor league complex in Sarasota, Fla., following surgery. His throwing program will last 10-12 weeks. With no setbacks, he'll begin preparing as if he's going through a normal spring training."The prognosis if he stays healthy is that hopefully we'll shoot for June 1 for him to be 100 percent," Stockstill said.

Klein helped UCLA reach the 2010 College World Series by going 6-1, 1.90 with 10 saves in 52 innings. He made his pro debut last summer with short-season Aberdeen and surrendered only one hit in 6 1/3 scoreless innings.

Bird Seed

• The Orioles designated reliever Luis Lebron for assignment to create room on their 40-man roster. The righthander passed through waivers and was outrighted to the minors. Lebron missed the 2010 season after Tommy John surgery.

• Scott Copeland was 5-9, 6.58 in 20 starts with low Class A Delmarva. The Orioles moved the 23-year-old up to Frederick, and he went 3-0, 0.52 in his first three starts, allowing one earned run in 17 innings and holding opponents to a .190 average.