Pitching without pain, Worley nearing return

Right-hander out since June 14 with right groin strain

Pitching without pain, Worley nearing return

BALTIMORE -- Orioles right-hander Vance Worley felt good during his rehab outing at Double-A Bowie on Saturday, and he could be activated from the 15-day disabled list during the upcoming West Coast trip.

The O's reliever, who has been on the DL since June 14 with a right groin strain, threw 1 2/3 innings for Bowie and allowed one run on five hits.

"I felt good," Worley said Sunday. "Everything was coming out well. Velocity was good, down in the zone. Obviously a few hits, but I'm a ground-ball pitcher and everything that got through was on the ground."

He said he was cognizant of the groin injury during his first few pitches, but once he felt pain free, he began attacking hitters. Manager Buck Showalter has been confident during Worley's rehab process that he would be able to return after the 15-day period, and Worley said he feels healthy enough to be activated.

"The last few days I've been feeling really good. The rehab has been going really well," Worley said. "I know lateral movement is there and last night was the big test of how it would react if I was out there going 100 percent. And I didn't feel anything and the ball was doing what it was supposed to do and coming out right."

Before Sunday's 12-5 win over the Rays, Showalter said, "We've got to potentially make a move or so after the game today."

After the game, the O's optioned left-hander Ashur Tolliver. The O's left for the West Coast trip after Sunday's game, and they don't want to fly someone out they would be sending home a day later for Worley. The Orioles are also preparing to lose two players to paternity leave in the near future. Tolliver's wife is due July 7 and Mychal Givens' wife is due July 11.

Worth noting

• All-Star reliever Darren O'Day threw off a full mound for the first time on Saturday since he was placed on the disabled list June 3 with a right hamstring strain. Showalter wants him to throw another bullpen session and two simulated games before they make a decision to activate him.

"If everything went perfectly, he could be activated on this [West Coast] trip," Showalter said.

O'Day gets out of trouble

• Catcher Caleb Joseph, who suffered a testicular injury May 30 when he was struck with a foul tip, is scheduled to catch in a game for the first time on Monday at High-A Frederick. Entering Sunday, he played in eight games as a designated hitter while on rehab.

Joseph throws out Ramirez

He's 10-for-28 (.357) with two home runs and five RBIs in eight Minor League games.

Ryan Baillargeon is a reporter for MLB.com based in Baltimore. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.