The Orioles lost one potential member of their Opening Day bullpen as righty Edgmer Escalona has been shut down for at least three weeks. From Roch Kubatko:
Escalona has MRI on right shoulder yest. Doc says he can't throw for 3-4 weeks due to inflammation. 1st time he's had shoulder issue— Roch Kubatko (@masnRoch) March 4, 2014
Escalona is one of the out-of-options pitchers on the 40-man roster fighting for a spot in the O's bullpen. Losing that much time seals his fate in regards to the start of the season, but at this point the main concern is if his shoulder will be OK to pitch after four weeks, since shoulder injuries can be very damaging to a pitcher's career.
Provided he has a normal recovery and is ready to pitch again in about a month, the Orioles should be able to place him on the disabled list, thus delaying the decision on whether to DFA him to try and get him down to the minors or to add him to the bullpen. And who knows? By then one of the bullpen pitchers could be injured or terrible.
In four years with the Colorado Rockies, Escalona pitched 100 innings with a 4.50 ERA. His last two seasons were pretty dreadful as he posted a 5.80 ERA in 59 games.
Escalona's injury could be good news to other out-of-options pitchers Kelvin De La Cruz, Zach Britton, and Josh Stinson, as well as players with minor-leageue contracts with spring invites such as Alfredo Aceves and Evan Meek.