The Orioles have placed southpaw Wade LeBlanc on the 60-day injured list due to a stress reaction in his throwing elbow, the team announced. Left-hander Keegan Akin has been called up from the team’s alternate training site in a corresponding move.
LeBlanc will see his season end after just 22 1/3 innings, including an outing last Sunday that saw him depart the mound due to injury before the first inning was over. It was a tough stretch for LeBlanc in Baltimore, with an 8.06 ERA largely fueled by the six homers allowed during his 22 1/3 frames of work. Home runs have been something of a constant issue for LeBlanc over his 12 big league seasons, though the problem has spiked over the last two years in particular, as LeBlanc has a 2.1 HR/9 over his last 143 2/3 MLB innings.
Baltimore signed LeBlanc to a minor league contract in the offseason, so he will earn the prorated portion of an $800K salary for reaching the Orioles’ active roster. The O’s expected to LeBlanc to eat some innings and provide some veteran experience for their young pitching staff, though today’s news could quite possibly mark the end of LeBlanc’s tenure with the club.
Akin might be the most obvious candidate to fill LeBlanc’s spot in the rotation, though the Orioles have some time to make a decision since LeBlanc’s next turn isn’t until Saturday. A second-round pick in the 2016 draft, the 25-year-old Akin has posted some solid innings in Baltimore’s farm system and he already made his MLB debut earlier this season (a three-inning relief outing on August 14).