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June 5, 2011

Orioles prospect Dan Klein shut down with shoulder soreness

Dan Klein, the organization’s second pick in the 2010 amateur draft and arguably the best pitching prospect in the Orioles’ farm system, has been shut down with a shoulder injury.

He is expected to be placed on the seven-day disabled list with bicipital tendonitis, basically a sore right shoulder. The Orioles don’t have a set timetable for his return, but are optimistic the problem is not significant.

“We want to make sure he is 100 percent before he pitches again,” said Orioles director of player development John Stockstill.

Klein, 23, was 3-0 with a 1.08 ERA in nine relief appearances for Double-A Bowie. He was promoted after going 0-1 with a 1.15 ERA in seven outings for Single-A Frederick this season. In 32 1/3 innings this season, he surrendered four earned runs, 23 hits, six walks and struck out 37 batters.

Klein experienced some soreness in the shoulder earlier this week, but felt better and eventually pitched two scoreless innings on Wednesday without a problem, Stockstill said. He was scheduled to pitch Sunday, but couldn’t get loose and was examined by Orioles team orthopedist Dr. John Wilckens in Bowie.

After being drafted in the third round out of UCLA, he made five appearances in 2010 for the Aberdeen IronBirds, allowing just one hit and one walk while striking out 10 in 6 1/3 innings.

Klein missed the last part of his freshman year and all of his sophomore season with a shoulder injury, which required exploratory surgery in 2009. He came back in 2010 and was the Bruins’ closer. Because he has four pitches he can throw for strikes, the Orioles think he could be a future starter, but wanted to progress carefully with him and were limiting his innings and appearances this season.

Klein was listed as the Orioles’ fifth best prospect heading into 2011 by Baseball America.

Posted by Dan Connolly at 6:30 PM | | Comments (0)

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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