BALTIMORE -- As expected, given the Orioles' decision to recall starter Tommy Hunter, the team has placed outfielder Endy Chavez on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday with a left intercostal muscle strain. The move allows Hunter, who was optioned to Triple-A on Monday, to be recalled within the 10-day period, and puts the Orioles' second left fielder on the DL, as Chavez joins Nolan Reimold and the depth chart takes another hit.
"I never thought I'd be in this position, it's kind of frustrating and disappointing," Chavez said of his injury, which started during last month's series against the Angels and has progressively worsened. "I just wanted to try to help the team and keep playing. After the [season-ending] injury I had on my knee [in 2009], I don't want to go back again that way. It's frustrating and something I was not expecting."
Chavez said he had an MRI on his left oblique last week that came back OK, and he was able to get a handle on it with daily treatments. But the pain wouldn't go away and the inflammation in his rib-cage area wouldn't go away, prompting him to bring the issue to the team's attention after playing in Tuesday's game. Chavez was diagnosed with a left intercostal muscle strain, an area of the body located between the ribs that helps stabilize the chest wall.
Chavez is eligible to be activated as early as May 24, which is a scheduled off-day. The Orioles start a three-game homestand with the Kansas City Royals the following day.
Signed as a free agent this winter, Chavez has been excellent defensively, but he has struggled to get going at the plate. In 20 games, he hit .133, including a .125 marker (5-for-40) with eight strikeouts since the series in Anaheim.
Hunter will pitch the second game of Thursday's doubleheader, having last started Sunday's 17-inning game in Boston.