Notes on Mountcastle home run, roster, Akin, and more

Notes on Mountcastle home run, roster, Akin, and more

Ryan Mountcastle barreled a pitch from Red Sox reliever Hansel Robles in the ninth inning last night, tossed the bat, paused at the plate and realized that he needed to start running.

His leadoff home run broke up the shutout, but it came with a sliver of doubt about where it would land.

No player had cleared the left field wall since the Orioles moved it back and raised the height from seven feet to 13. Boston’s Xander Bogaerts came close earlier in the game, but Austin Hays made the catch at the edge of the warning track.

Mountcastle’s ball traveled 423 feet with an exit velocity of 111.2 mph, the second-hardest hit ball by an Oriole this season. Enough to let him slow the pace as he rounded the bases.

“That’s one of the best balls I’ve ever hit. It went about three rows deep,” he said with a laugh. “It’s a long way out there, but it feels good to finally get one over there.

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Orioles and Red Sox lineups

Orioles and Red Sox lineups

Trey Mancini, Jorge Mateo and Kelvin Gutiérrez are on the bench for tonight’s game against the Red Sox at Camden Yards.

Anthony Santander is in right field after being out of last night’s lineup.

Tyler Nevin is the designated hitter. Ramón Urías is starting at third base and Chris Owings is the shortstop.

Austin Hays is in left field and batting fourth. He’s 8-for-18 (.444) with two home runs and six RBIs in his last five games.

Spenser Watkins is making his second career start and fourth appearance against the Red Sox. He’s allowed seven runs and 10 hits in seven innings.

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Orioles were bundle of activity before playing last night's game

nevin spring orange

The Orioles gave everyone a lot to unpack after returning from their 11-day road trip.

We knew that Kyle Bradish was starting his first major league game. The news broke Thursday afternoon.

The corresponding roster move wasn’t as clear. It turned out to be Mike Baumann, who couldn’t sustain the momentum from his 2 1/3 scoreless innings against the Brewers, including one hit allowed and credit for the win.

Baumann was charged with five earned runs and six total over his next four appearances covering five innings. He walked five batters, and the Orioles want him pounding the strike zone in Triple-A and operating in a more controlled environment.

Much easier to map out his week in the minors.

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Bradish brings quality start in major league debut (updated)


Kyle Bradish struck out his first major league batter tonight. DL Hall struck out the side in the first inning about 35 miles away in Aberdeen.

Orioles pitching prospects dueling without being on the same field.

They’re on the same side of the rebuild, providing fuel that’s supposed to speed the organization through it.

Bradish kept the Red Sox scoreless in five of his six innings in a 3-1 loss before an announced crowd of 15,685 at Camden Yards. He allowed three runs, two earned, and five hits, with one walk and two strikeouts.

Ryan Mountcastle broke up the shutout with a 423-foot home run off Hansel Robles leading off the ninth, the ball clearing the left field fence with plenty of room to spare. Somebody had to do it. Mountcastle is the first.

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Bradish debut, Wells injury, Baumann demotion, Nevin arrival and more


Orioles manager Brandon Hyde had to wait before posting tonight’s lineup, checking on Ryan Mountcastle’s neck and welcoming back Tyler Nevin.

A busy transactions day included promoting Nevin and starter Kyle Bradish from Triple-A Norfolk, optioning reliever Mike Baumann and putting left-hander Alexander Wells on the 10-day injured list with a sore elbow.

Hyde said Wells noticed the discomfort after pitching Tuesday night in New York, where he surrendered solo home runs to Aaron Judge and Anthony Rizzo. He’ll undergo further tests on the elbow later tonight.

The Orioles chose to bring up a position player rather than another reliever, and Nevin seemed like a solid choice after batting .364/.434/.546 with six doubles, two home runs and 17 RBIs in 17 games with the Tides. He’s starting at third base tonight and Hyde can him around to other corner positions in the infield and outfield.

“We feel pretty good about our pitching right now, as of today, and we like what Tyler’s done in Norfolk, want to give him an opportunity,” Hyde said.

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Bradish and Nevin recalled from Norfolk


The Orioles begin a 10-game homestand, minus any breaks in the schedule, with rookie Kyle Bradish making his major league debut tonight against the Red Sox.

Bradish was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk this afternoon after allowing only two earned runs and striking out 17 batters in 15 innings in his three starts. He tossed two scoreless innings each against the Phillies and Yankees in spring training, showing extreme confidence and quality stuff against their top lineups.

Baseball America ranks Bradish as the No. 9 prospect in the system and has him 10th.

The Orioles acquired Bradish, 25, from the Angels in the December 2019 Dylan Bundy trade.

Reliever Mike Baumann was optioned to Norfolk to create room for Bradish, who’s wearing No. 56. He threw 47 pitches yesterday at Yankee Stadium.

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Odor makes impact in order during yesterday's loss


Rougned Odor has worked in the type of platoon role anticipated after the Orioles signed him in late November. In the lineup against right-handers, which should put him on the bench again tonight against Red Sox lefty Rich Hill.

Odor entered yesterday’s game batting .150/.255/.200 with six hits in 40 at-bats. He had two doubles and four RBIs and struck out 14 times.

Jameson Taillon got him twice yesterday with strikeouts that closed the first and third innings and stranded three runners in scoring position. Austin Hays doubled twice ahead of him.

Former Oriole Miguel Castro replaced Taillon with two outs in the fifth inning and Odor, batting fifth again in the order, lined a double into right field. Odor reached on an infield single in the seventh inning for his first multi-hit game and added an RBI double in the ninth.

Odor’s last two-double game was Sept. 7, 2019.

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Source: Bradish to make major league debut on Friday


NEW YORK – The Orioles are ready to spring Kyle Bradish on major league hitters.

Bradish, 25, will be recalled from Triple-A Norfolk and start Friday night against the Red Sox, according to a source.

The No. 9 prospect in the system per Baseball America had his start with the Tides bumped from yesterday to Friday, but he won’t stick around for it.

Bradish was acquired from the Angels with pitchers Isaac Mattson, Kyle Brnovich and Zach Peek in the Dylan Bundy trade in December 2019. He followed an impressive spring training by allowing only two earned runs and striking out 17 batters in 15 innings in his three starts with Norfolk.

The Orioles kept Bradish back at extended spring training before he joined the Tides. A gradual buildup of innings has led to his first assignment in the majors.

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Defense lets down Zimmermann before O's decide on next starters


NEW YORK – Clarity came to the Orioles rotation this afternoon only if TBA counts as a parting of the clouds.

Left-hander Bruce Zimmermann made today’s start against the Yankees and exited with four unearned runs in 4 1/3 innings in a sloppy 10-5 loss that completed the sweep. Who follows this weekend might not be revealed until Friday, and perhaps in daily increments.

Spenser Watkins’ next turn plops him into the series opener versus the Red Sox at Camden Yards. Veteran Jordan Lyles would pitch Sunday. But the Orioles could push back Watkins and use someone else Friday night.

The same night that Kyle Bradish is listed as Triple-A Norfolk’s starter in Gwinnett.

It’s important to stay on your toes while tracking who might be handed the ball.

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Mountcastle remains out of Orioles lineup


NEW YORK – The Orioles are trying to avoid being swept today in a three-game series at Yankee Stadium for the first time since 2017.

The 10-day road trip wraps up in the Bronx cold with left-hander Bruce Zimmermann on the mound and Ryan Mountcastle still on the bench.

Mountcastle was scratched yesterday with neck stiffness.

Cedric Mullins is the designated hitter, Ryan McKenna is in center field and Trey Mancini is playing first base.

Zimmermann has a 1.20 ERA and 1.133 WHIP in three starts and averages 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings. He faced the Yankees on April 17 and shut them out over five innings.

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Roster reduction, revamped rotation, and more Rutschman

John Means throws white

NEW YORK – The Orioles aren’t celebrating baseball’s reduction in rosters from 28 players to 26 beginning May 2. They want the extra bodies after a truncated spring training, and with their rotation requiring additional support.

They’re expected to carry 14 pitchers after learning this week that the limit has been raised, but there’s room to be flexible. Don’t get too attached to the math.

There could be a game or series that screams for a fourth bench player, and the club is willing to listen.

“It’s nice that we’re going to at least have the option,” manager Brandon Hyde said yesterday. “I think we’re going to see where we are from a pitching standpoint on that day and throughout the month. Tyler Wells is in our rotation and he’s not pitching that many innings, so it’s kind of, we’re carrying an extra guy there. We’re playing some really good offenses. … We’ll see where we are.

“It’s going to be a series-to-series decision. Hopefully, our starters can get some length and we can possibly keep an extra position player. We just don’t know right now.”

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Wells makes longest start in Orioles' loss to Yankees (updated)


NEW YORK – The one pitch that Tyler Wells wanted back tonight traveled 417 feet.

The rest of his start carried the former reliever a little farther into his transition back to a starter’s life. It was a pretty sweet ride.

Wells made his deepest dive this season with five innings and 72 pitches in the Orioles’ 5-2 loss to the Yankees in The Bronx. He retired 13 of the last 14 batters after Giancarlo Stanton homered in the first.

Stanton became the seventh-fastest player to reach 350 home runs with his two-run shot off Wells. Aaron Judge singled with one out, Anthony Rizzo flied out and Stanton launched a 94 mph fastball over the fence in left-center field, the exit velocity 108.6 mph, per Statcast.

Wells retired 10 of the next 11 batters to get him through the fourth, matching his previous high on April 16 versus the Yankees at Camden Yards. Manager Brandon Hyde sent him back out for the fifth, and Wells responded by striking out Joey Gallo on a 94 mph fastball and coaxing ground balls from Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jose Trevino.

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Mountcastle scratched from lineup and more from Elias

Mountcastle scratched from lineup and more from Elias

NEW YORK – Ryan Mountcastle was scratched from tonight’s lineup with neck stiffness. Anthony Santander moved from right field to the designated hitter spot, and Ryan McKenna is playing right.

Manager Brandon Hyde stopped by McKenna’s locker to pass along the update.

“He’s getting treatment right now on the side of his neck,” Hyde said, adding that Mountcastle should be available off the bench.

Reliever Paul Fry wasn’t available in Anaheim because of a similar ailment.

“What’s up with the pillows?” Hyde said. “We’re staying in a nice hotel. These beds are super comfortable. I don’t know. They’re not used to the bed or pillow or something, but we’ve had two stiff necks in the last week.”

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Quick updates on Means, Bradish, Harvey, Kremer, Hall and more


NEW YORK – John Means underwent ligament-reconstructive surgery this morning on his left elbow, a procedure that executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias described as “successful” in an update shared on a video call with the media.

Dr. Keith Meister performed the surgery in Dallas.

Means already has been discharged from the hospital and will begin his rehab immediately. He’ll return to Baltimore and meet with the Orioles’ medical and athletic training staffs.

Elias is hopeful that Means can return to the Orioles in the first half of the 2023 season, though the surgery obviously doesn’t bring any guarantees.

Elias didn’t dismiss Triple-A Norfolk’s Kyle Bradish as a possibility for the rotation this weekend. Saturday’s spot remains TBA.

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Wondering whether Bradish's delayed next start means anything to O's


NEW YORK – The Orioles don’t have a confirmed starting pitcher for Saturday night and their options at the major league level seem to be dwindling.

Alexander Wells was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk, removing him from the taxi squad, and threw 34 pitches last night in relief to finish a 12-8 loss to the Yankees. And while his outing could be construed as similar to a bullpen session prior to a start, there’s an intriguing possibility one level below.

Kyle Bradish, the No. 9 prospect in the system per Baseball American and No. 10 according to, no longer is listed as tonight’s starter with Norfolk. He’s replaced by Blaine Knight, who moves up from Thursday’s scheduled assignment.

Kevin Smith was supposed to start Friday, but Bradish has been pushed back to that spot.

What does it all mean?

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About yesterday and last night


NEW YORK – The Orioles will consider it a win if they reach a point in their season where the rotation isn’t a daily topic of conversation and ripe with intrigue.

Who’s out, who’s in, who’s hurt.

The highly anticipated and loudly demanded arrivals of prospects Kyle Bradish, Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall will prevent the rotation from becoming stagnant, especially with the Orioles spreading out their debuts rather than delivering them in a cluster. Bradish should be the first to reach the majors, with Rodriguez behind him and Hall third.

The equation isn’t complicated.

Bradish is 25 and has made 24 career appearances in Triple-A. Rodriguez is 22 and has made four.

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Homers kept happening in Orioles' 12-8 loss (updated)


NEW YORK – The lineup was loaded with prospects, the future put on display for fans to admire as if shuffling through a baseball museum, pausing to stare at the most attractive pieces. Except the most valuable also were the newest.

This is what happened in Aberdeen, where the Orioles’ high Single-A affiliate stole the major league team’s thunder on a rainy night with catcher Adley Rutschman’s first injury rehab game.

The Orioles stepped into the third series of their road trip and were flattened early by Luis Severino, who retired the first 14 batters and didn’t allow a hit until Jorge Mateo singled in the sixth inning in the Yankees’ wild 12-8 win in the Bronx.

A different vibe entirely, though entertaining in their own way.

A familiar comeback attempt, with the Orioles again falling behind by six runs before fighting back. Twice. But unlike Sunday’s game in Anaheim, they couldn’t get even.

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Ellis placed on injured list (plus other notes)


NEW YORK – An Orioles rotation missing its No. 1 starter is forced to fill another opening with the season less than a month old.

Chris Ellis was placed on the 10-day injured list this afternoon with right shoulder inflammation, the same condition that shut him down last September.

Alexander Wells was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk, a simply and logical transaction with the left-hander on the taxi squad. He already had a locker inside the visiting clubhouse at Yankee Stadium.

Ellis faced only five batters Sunday in Anaheim and didn’t retire anyone. He walked three, hit one and surrendered a two-run single.

Mound visits from pitching coach Chris Holt and later head athletic trainer Brian Ebel preceded his removal from the game.

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Orioles and Yankees lineups (and notes)


NEW YORK – Austin Hays is in left field tonight and Anthony Santander is in right, as the Orioles open a three-game series against the Yankees.

Jorge Mateo is the shortstop and Ramón Urías is playing third base.

Jordan Lyles is making his fourth start. He’s allowed six runs and 18 hits with six walks in 15 1/3 innings, but only one run in his last two starts over 10 1/3 innings.

Lyles held the Yankees to one run in 5 1/3 innings at Camden Yards.

Right-hander Luis Severino has made three starts for the Yankees this season and allowed only three runs in 13 innings. He’s surrendered 14 hits, walked four batters and struck out 14.

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This, that and the other


The Orioles are in New York for a three-game series that wraps up a long road trip. Three cities, one terrible piece of news regarding ace John Means and one significant update on catcher Adley Rutschman.

Rutschman is in Aberdeen tonight, where the high Single-A IronBirds open a six-game series against the Jersey Shore BlueClaws. The usual Monday off-day is followed by six more home games against the Brooklyn Cyclones.

It’s highly unlikely that Rutschman sticks around for a dozen games, but the Orioles aren’t laying out an exact plan. He’s going to dictate how quickly he moves through his injury rehab assignment.

DL Hall also is reporting to Aberdeen this afternoon, but he isn’t returning from a recent injury. The Orioles have him on a progression after he made only seven starts last summer with Double-A Bowie due to a stress reaction his left elbow.

Hall already proved that he made a full recovery by firing fastballs at 98-100 mph in Clearwater while retiring the Phillies in order with two strikeouts. He’ll get back to Double-A Bowie, eventually pitch at Triple-A Norfolk and, assuming he stays healthy, debut with the Orioles this summer.

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