After a sudden elbow issue, the Baltimore Orioles oldest player is out for the season.
The 36-year-old pitcher joined the Orioles on a minor-league contract back in February. He was scheduled to make $800,000 if he joined the MLB team. He did, but the dollar amount dropped based on the shortened schedule.
The Orioles ended up putting him on the team as they began the 2020 season with very few veteran arms. He ended his 12th MLB season with an ERA of 8.06 and a WHIP of 1.567. It wasn’t his best year in a career that began with the San Diego Padres in 2008.
LeBlanc started in six games for the Orioles and pitched a total of 22 innings. His injury does put some pressure on the remaining pitchers, and especially on their newest addition: Jorge Lopez who was serving as the long-inning reliever for John Means, who has struggled of late.
LeBlanc didn’t have an easy time pitching for the Birds, as he never lasted more than four innings. If this injury requires surgery, there’s a chance that LeBlanc could be done pitching for any team.
According to Joe Trezza with MLB.com, the Orioles called up Keegan Akin to take the fifth starting spot in LeBlanc’s place. The 25-year-old left-handed pitcher saw action on August 14 against the Nats in a 3-15 loss. He saw 13 batters and gave up three runs in his 2020 debut.
Trezza also shared that the Birds might be calling up another prospect. Hunter Harvey had elbow soreness in his throwing arm during Summer Training, but has been rehabbing and could be called up any day now. He pitched in 2019 and earned an eye-popping 1.42 ERA in seven appearances. His rookie status is still intact for 2020.
In more much-needed good news, shortstop Jose Iglesias is expected to return on Wednesday. He’s been resting a sore quad muscle. The team has sorely missed his consistent bat and his veteran presence.