UPDATE 10:05 pm. Felix Pie went 4-for-5 with a double and a run scored in Bowie’s win.
BALTIMORE– Orioles outfielder Felix Pie is hopeful he will be join the team for Friday’s series opener in Boston.
“I feel good, no pain,” Pie said in a phone interview with MLB.com. “Right now, the hardest thing is seeing pitches [at the plate]. But that will come with more and more [at-bats].”
Pie -who moved his rehab to Double-A Bowie Tuesday night– said the plan is for him to play nine innings in the field and continue to test his upper body strength; hopefully with some plays at the plate.
Pie has been sidelined with an upper back strain -officially landing on the disabled list on April 16 –and said he has been feeling good both in long toss and in making throws from the outfield. He played nine innings in left field on Sunday at Class-A Advanced Frederick with no lingering soreness the next day.
Pie, who has played five games split between the Gulf Coast League and Frederick, is scheduled to play at Bowie Tuesday and Wednesday and, according to interim manager Juan Samuel, he will be evaluated after that.
“We’ve got some other people keeping an eye on [Pie],” Samuel said. “If they feel he’s anywhere close to joining us, we’ll see how they evaluate him, to see if he’s game ready.”
Samuel wasn’t sure if the team would opt to take a reliever or position player off the 25-man roster for Pie, but said that when the outfielder is activated he plans on using him.
“Obviously, [Corey] Patterson has done a good job,” Samuel said of Patterson, the Orioles everyday left fielder in Pie and Nolan Reimold’s absence. “But if Felix Pie is here and he’s going to play left field, I’ll probably have him lead off.”
Pie is hitting .300 (6-for-20)with two RBIs and four runs scored in his first five rehab games. With his activation looming, Pie said he was “very excited” to get back to helping the big-league club.
“I can’t wait,” Pie said. “I’ve been looking forward to it.”