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.