BALTIMORE -- Steve Pearce started his rehab games Thursday, playing for the Orioles' Gulf Coast League affiliate at designated hitter, and he could be activated early next week.
Pearce, who has been sidelined since mid-July with an oblique injury, went 1-for-4 in his GCL debut. The plan is for him to see time in left field, right field and at first base during Friday's game. Assuming that goes well, Pearce would fly up to Baltimore for the next step.
"He will be in a Minor League game Saturday and maybe Sunday. See where we are Monday," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of the plan for Pearce, who will play locally for one of the club's affiliates. "That'd be the perfect world."
Pearce was eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 3, so now it's just a matter of when he's ready. Asked if Pearce could be activated Monday for the start of the O's seven-game road trip, Showalter said, "That's a little bit of a push, but I'm not going to say it's outside the realm of possibility. That would be four games, really five seeing live pitching. ... We'll see."
Pearce, who is batting .227/.290/.392 with seven homers and 24 RBIs in 58 games for Baltimore, is one of the Orioles' more versatile players and has played first base, second base, DH and the corner-outfield spots this year.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.