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Thome Set to Return to Orioles Lineup

Jim Thome News

Thome be activated from the disabled list

Does 42-year-old Jim Thome have any power left in his left-handed bat that has slugged 611 home runs over a 22-year Major League career? The Baltimore Orioles will find out on Friday, when the designated hitter is expected to be activated from the disabled list for Baltimore’s three-game series at Fenway Park against the Red Sox.

Thome, who has been sidelined since July 31 with a herniated disc in his neck, was traded from the Phillies to the Orioles on June 30 for minor leaguers Gabriel Lino and Kyle Simon. He hit .242 with five home runs and 15 RBI in 71 plate appearances for Philadelphia. Before landing on the DL, Thome had a .261 average with two home runs and six RBI in 79 plate appearances for Baltimore.

At 85-64, the Orioles are tied with Oakland for the top wild card spot in the American League and trail the Yankees by one game in the American League East. They would benefit from a productive Thome since right fielder Nick Markakis will miss the rest of the regular season because of a broken left thumb. Thome’s return would allow slugger Chris Davis to play right field and give the offense more pop, though Davis is not as good defensively as Endy Chavez.

Likely, Thome will not be the full-time DH so the Orioles can preserve his body and his bat, but his return gives the lineup more power to accompany Davis, Mark Reynolds and Adam Jones.

A former sports writer for a daily newspaper in Ohio, Jeff Louderback is a professional freelance writer, author and editor who lives in Clearwater, Fla. He writes baseball features for several publications, including prospect profiles for Baseball America. He served as the founder, editor and columnist for Sox and Pinstripes, a blog that covered the Red Sox and Yankees; and BoSox Banter , a site that covered the Red Sox, the Red Sox farm system and baseball-themed travel. Jeff is also the co-author of the life story of former Major League pitcher Brian Tollberg, whose inspirational story saw him rise from the University of North Florida and the independent Frontier League's Chillicothe Paints to a climb up the minors in the Brewers and Padres systems before tasting success in the majors with the Padres. The book will be released in 2015.