O’s outfielder Austin Hays is not in the starting lineup for the third straight game with a sore and tight left oblique. During the Orioles clubhouse media availability today before batting practice, Hays said he was hopeful he would not need a stint on the injured list.
“Not at this point, no.” he said. “Have a little bit better feel after today. We’ve let it settle these last couple of days. So, we’ll have a little bit better understanding where I’m at today once I go do my (pregame) stuff.
“I feel a little bit better today. Just got to reassess where I’m at. We’ve just been doing treatment right now to let it fully settle. That is three days of just straight treatment so we’ll asses today and see where it’s at.”
And where it is at is a better place today. When manager Brandon Hyde talked with reporters, Hays had already completed some pregame work and it went well.
“Hays is trending in the right direction,” said Hyde. “Feels a lot better today. Hopefully he is in there the next couple of days. Took some swings today in the cage. Felt a lot better. Went out and did a pretty good throwing program out there. It’s just, with an oblique, you want to be really cautious. Just want to make sure he’s 100 percent before we put him back out there. So it looks good.”
Hays is not sure how the issue all started.
“No (don’t know),” he said. “Just starts with some general soreness. Didn’t seem like anything and I was playing with it. As the game went on (Tuesday) it started to get tighter and tighter. We took the two days off (including Thursday’s off day) and after that I was still feeling it a little bit. Now it’s been three full days and feeling better.”
Hyde said the IL has not been a consideration with Hays.
“No. Because he was getting better every day. And, with a four-man bench, and pretty much everybody else healthy, we don’t have anyone else day-to-day, that is somebody we don’t want to lose for 10 days if we don’t have to," he said.
O’s infielder Rougned Odor has made 76 starts this year at second base and none at third base, where he did start 60 games last season for the Yankees. Odor has been taking some pregame work recently at third base.
“With (Terrin) Vavra here and we’ve been so right-handed and to be able to get multiple left-handers in the lineup, that’s been nice. So Rougie has been working at third base. He played third last year at New York. So we want to have that option as well,” Hyde said.
Today is a big day for the Orioles organization with the 30th anniversary celebration of Camden Yards.
During his pregame interview this afternoon with WBAL Radio and the Orioles Radio Network, Hyde said that Brooks Robinson, who is here today, will address his team in the clubhouse before the game. Hyde wants the players that returned this weekend, to include Hall of Famers Robinson, Eddie Murray and Mike Mussina and others to know they are always welcome around his team.
“Brooks is going to come in the clubhouse and say a few words to the guys. Great to have these legends in the building. Everyone is very excited to see him and be around him. Eddie has been around a little bit here the last few years. I’d love to have these guys more. I know they have lives outside of the Orioles but they are incredibly important to us and this fanbase and the history of this franchise and we want to honor them as much as possible," he said.
Hyde hopes right-hander Austin Voth (1-1, 2.84 ERA with the Orioles) can exceed 80 pitches today. He threw five scoreless his last time out at Cincinnati and faces Pittsburgh this afternoon in the second game of this series.
The O's team ERA is 1.75 during their four-game win streak. And over the last turn of five pitches through the rotation, the starters' ERA is 1.14.