ST. LOUIS - The Orioles made multiple adjustments to their health-challenged roster this morning, with Rylan Bannon recalled from Triple-A Norfolk and given his first start in the series finale against the Cardinals.
Bannon is playing third base in his major league debut. He joined the taxi squad yesterday.
Left-hander Paul Fry was optioned to Norfolk.
Ryan Mountcastle and Ramón Urías are day-to-day with a sore wrist and abdomen, respectively. Urías said this morning that he felt better, but “not great, great.”
“Urías and Mountcastle both trending better, still not available today,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “Hopefully, they’ll be available off the bench, but not sure. They’re still getting treatment right now. We felt like we needed an extra body.”
Bannon, acquired from the Dodgers in the 2018 Manny Machado trade, was batting .235/.361/.382 with three doubles, four home runs and 19 RBIs in 29 games with Norfolk.
“We’ve got to find out about our 40-man guys,” said Hyde, who has a four-man bench today but only two healthy players. “Tyler Nevin’s on our 40-man. We brought him up, giving him an opportunity. Bannon is going to get an opportunity to play.”
The Orioles found out late last night that left-hander Steven Matz is starting for the Cardinals, which made it easier to put Bannon in the lineup. The Tigers are starting a couple of left-handers over the weekend.
Bannon’s promotion leaves outfielder Yusniel Diaz as the only player among five obtained from the Dodgers who hasn’t reached the majors.
Fry retired all four batters he faced last night and didn’t allow a run this month in five innings. Hyde was trying to use him in lower-leverage situations, and Fry shaved his ERA to 6.00 in 12 appearances.
“It’s because we need a position player here because we have so many guys that right now we need to get off their feet,” Hyde said. “I need to find a day for (Jorge) Mateo, (Anthony) Santander, (Austin) Hays has played a lot. We just played a doubleheader, we kind of knew this was going to happen. That’s why that doubleheader was tough.
“We just need an extra position player right now, and it’s nothing that Paul did. Hope to see him back here real soon. It’s just part of the game right now and we felt like we needed an extra guy on the bench.”
Earlier in the day, the Orioles selected pitcher Denyi Reyes’ contract from Norfolk – he also was on the taxi squad – and optioned reliever Travis Lakins Sr.
Reyes, 25, allowed 11 runs and 17 hits with 15 strikeouts in 12 innings over his three starts with Norfolk. He made one start with Single-A Delmarva and allowed one run and three hits in five innings.
“It’s something I’ve definitely been anticipating,” he said via interpreter Brandon Quinones. “It just means a lot being here in this moment. It’s something that every kid dreams about back home in the D.R. to be here today."
The Orioles gave Reyes a spring training start against the Red Sox, his former organization, and he impressed early before allowing three runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings in Fort Myers. Reyes said the exposure to major league hitters “was really important and it felt really good to do so after being with them for seven years, and it was really fun competing against guys who I had seen over the years.
"It's been seven long years. It's been really difficult, but at the end of the day it's my first year being here with the Orioles and I'm just really thankful that I'm finally here today."
“He’s going to be coming out of the bullpen at some point today,” Hyde said. “I’m going to try to bullpen game this one. Wherever they fall in the order is how I’ll map it out the best I can and go from there.
“It’s somebody that’s built up, in case we need somebody to go for a while. He’s at least is built up to five innings or so. We’ll see how it goes today.”
Bryan Baker makes his first major league start.
“Just wanted a right-hander against their mostly right-handed club,” Hyde said. “He hasn’t pitched in a handful of days and he’s the freshest, so hopefully he can give us a couple innings.”
For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Austin Hays RF
Trey Mancini 1B
Anthony Santander DH
Tyler Nevin LF
Jorge Mateo SS
Rylan Bannon 3B
Anthony Bemboom C
Chris Owings 2B
Bryan Baker RHP
For the Cardinals
Tommy Edman 2B
Paul Goldschmidt DH
Nolan Arenado 3B
Juan Yepez RF
Albert Pujols 1B
Tyler O’Neill RF
Dylan Carlson CF
Andrew Knizner C
Brendan Donovan SS
Steven Matz LHP