Nick Vespi joins Orioles bullpen


The Orioles selected the contract of left-hander Nick Vespi from Triple-A Norfolk this afternoon and designated lefty Logan Allen for assignment.

Vespi, who’s wearing No. 79, brings a 0.00 ERA to Camden Yards while waiting to make his major league debut. The 18th round draft pick in 2015 was charged with three unearned runs and six hits in 14 1/3 innings, with three walks and 21 strikeouts.

Allen was claimed off waivers from the Guardians on May 5 and made three appearances, allowing two runs and three hits with two walks in 1 2/3 innings.

Today’s moves are the latest to impact the bullpen. Paul Fry was designated for assignment on Saturday. Denyi Reyes has his contract selected on Thursday, made his major league debut with two scoreless innings in Detroit and was optioned.

Meanwhile, the Orioles resume their four-game series with the Yankees tonight. Neither team has posted its lineup.

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This, that and the other


The Orioles began their homestand last night without a single roster move.

Didn’t need to replace an injured player whose day-to-day status grew too long. Didn’t select the contract of baseball’s No. 1 prospect.

Austin Hays took coach’s batting practice, but only the shadow of Adley Rutschman could keep fans from seeing the importance of that update.

The Triple-A Norfolk Tides were off yesterday. Rutschman didn’t hop on a flight to Baltimore.

The Orioles never circled that date or any other on the calendar. Some media did. Some fans did. The opening game of a homestand seemed to make sense.

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Bradish's second look at Yankees not as successful (updated)


Kyle Bradish imagined this night for at least two months.

Probably a lot longer.

Bradish stood outside the visiting clubhouse at the Yankees spring training complex in Tampa after tossing two scoreless innings, said he had fun pitching in front of a large crowd in prime time and facing a lineup stacked with regulars, and spoke without a trace of cockiness about future rematches.

“They’re in the division,” he said, “so getting an early look at them is always nice.”

The Orioles didn’t break camp with Bradish and kept him back at extended spring training to build up innings. He wasn’t promoted until April 29, the news breaking a day earlier while the Orioles coincidentally were at Yankee Stadium.

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Hays' early hitting and fielding drills bring him closer to return

Hays' early hitting and fielding drills bring him closer to return

Austin Hays took coach’s batting practice this afternoon and did some outfield work, including shagging fly balls, and is nearing a return to the Orioles lineup.

Hays has been missing from it since the final game in St. Louis, when reliever Génesis Cabrera stepped on his left hand on a play at first base.

“My hand’s feeling a lot better today,” Hays said while standing at his locker. “The swelling was pretty bad the last couple of days, but the stitches have settled, so now I can regain some baseball activities today.”

The Orioles were able to avoid putting Hays on the injured list. The initial fear was that he suffered a break, but he escaped “only” with lacerations.

“Originally, it was kind of unsure, but then the doctor said that I would be able to play with the stitches in, I wouldn’t have to wait for them to come out before I could resume,” he said.

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Orioles lineup vs. Yankees

Orioles lineup vs. Yankees

The Orioles have returned home after being swept in Detroit, and Robinson Chirinos is catching tonight.

No roster moves have been announced. No new lockers in the home clubhouse.

Austin Hays is attempting to hit this afternoon. The swelling is down in his left hand, but he remains out of the lineup.

Ramón Urías is batting cleanup and starting at shortstop. Rylan Bannon is playing third base in his first game at Camden Yards.

Tyler Nevin is the first baseman. Ryan McKenna is in left field.

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Orioles experience more pain beyond a series sweep


Jorge Mateo ran full-speed into Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson yesterday on a bunt up the line, and the result was predictable. Mateo hit the ground hard and stayed down as manager Brandon Hyde and head athletic trainer Brian Ebel bolted from the dugout.

Mateo eventually got up and finished his at-bat, falling to one knee on a swing and striking out on the next pitch. But not until Hyde had patted him on the back and gave him a quick shoulder rub, relieved that his starting shortstop didn’t join the list of injured Orioles.

Two innings later, Chris Owings was pinch-hitting for Mateo, who left the game with rib cage soreness.

Of course he did. This team is a bundle of bad breaks.

Hyde told the media afterward that Mateo has a left shoulder and chest contusion. X-rays were negative and he’s day-to-day.

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Orioles and Tigers lineups (and notes)


Austin Hays remains out of the Orioles lineup today as they conclude their road trip in Detroit.

Hays hasn’t played since Cardinals reliever Genesis Cabrera stepped on the back of his left hand in the seventh inning of Thursday’s game. He told the media this morning that he threw yesterday and is hoping to increase his baseball activity on Monday.

Ramón Urías moves up from fourth to second in the order today, and Jorge Mateo is batting fifth for the third time in his career and the first in 2022.

Tyler Nevin is the third baseman, Ryan McKenna the left fielder and Rylan Bannon the designated hitter.

Since May 3, the Orioles have two of the top four batting averages in the American League with Trey Mancini, first at .405, and Cedric Mullins, fourth at .354.

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Injuries contribute to painful outcomes for Orioles in Detroit

Jorge Mateo swing black away

The good vibes that gained strength for the Orioles in St. Louis are weakened for the predictable reasons.

The club isn’t built to withstand injuries to key players, and the cluster is a killer.

Beating the Cardinals in the final game of the series with virtually no bench and with the bullpen almost empty in the late innings is more astounding now that the Orioles are a loss away from being swept by a bad Tigers team.

I ran down the litany of health concerns while prepping’s Brendan Mortensen for his first road trip and first taste of beat work. Ryan Mountcastle had a sore left wrist. Ramón Urías had discomfort in his abdomen. Austin Hays had lacerations on the back of his left hand from Genesis Cabrera’s spikes. Rougned Odor had a sinus issue.

The taxi squad was full because the Orioles needed to prepare for multiple roster moves.

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Orioles DFA Paul Fry and claim Beau Sulser

Paul Fry Gray

Left-hander Paul Fry might not make it back to Baltimore.

The Orioles designated Fry for assignment this afternoon and claimed right-hander Beau Sulser off waivers from the Pirates.

Sulser has three minor league options, and he’s reporting to Triple-A Norfolk.

Fry, 29, allowed eight earned runs and nine total with seven walks in 12 innings with the Orioles, and they optioned him Thursday morning while recalling infielder Rylan Bannon and closing out their series in St. Louis. He was much more effective in May with no runs allowed and only two hits in five innings, but it didn't save his job.

Manager Brandon Hyde was using Fry in lower leverage situations and getting better results.

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McKenna recalled from Norfolk (plus lineups and notes)

Ryan McKenna swinging gray

The Orioles strengthened their bench this afternoon in Detroit by recalling outfielder Ryan McKenna from Triple-A Norfolk and optioning reliever Denyi Reyes to the Tides.

Reyes made his major league debut last night and tossed two scoreless innings with two strikeouts.

McKenna was 5-for-19 with two doubles with the Orioles. He had a three-homer game with Norfolk and was 9-for-33.

The move gives the Orioles a four-man bench again, though Austin Hays isn’t available due to the lacerations on his left hand sustained Thursday in St. Louis.

McKenna is playing left field today and batting seventh.

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Three thoughts on Orioles as they continue road trip


While the Orioles opened a three-game series last night in Detroit on the backend of their two-city road trip, I returned home from St. Louis, checked the top of my head, ignored the gel and jotted down a few observations.

Jorge López is the closer, but Félix Bautista is the trusted backup

López rejoined the team yesterday in Detroit after three days on the bereavement list. In his absence, Bautista recorded two saves in the St. Louis series and fired nine fastballs Thursday afternoon in triple digits. A few others were clocked at 99 mph.

Bautista is a rookie who turns 27 next month and came to the organization as a free-agent signing in August 2016, one year after the Marlins released him. He made 11 appearances at Single-A Aberdeen last summer, reached two other levels in the system and landed on the 40-man roster to protect him in a Rule 5 draft that never materialized due to the lockout.

A high walk rate raised some red flags. Bautista figured to go back to Triple-A Norfolk and sharpen his command, but the Orioles broke camp with him and now he’s pitching in high leverage situations.

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Mountcastle goes on injured list (plus lineups and notes)


The Orioles are down another position player with Ryan Mountcastle going on the 10-day injured list this afternoon with a left wrist/forearm strain. The move is retroactive to Wednesday.

Reliever Jorge López has been reinstated from the bereavement list after missing the three-game series in St. Louis, giving the club a much-needed fresh arm.

Mountcastle was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup and unavailable to play yesterday. He’s batting .268/.299/.402 with three doubles, four home runs and 16 RBIs in 117 plate appearances.

Tonight’s lineup in Detroit doesn’t include outfielder Austin Hays, who sustained lacerations on the back of his left hand yesterday after Cardinals reliever Genesis Cabrera cleated him. Chris Owings is playing left field.

Ramón Urías also is on the bench again. He was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup with abdominal discomfort, but so far has avoided the injured list.

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Martin on taxi squad and in limbo as injuries mount on Orioles' roster

martin makes tag home orange

ST. LOUIS - Richie Martin is used to waiting.

Through the injury rehab process. While on the Triple-A roster. And now, as a member of the Orioles taxi squad on the current road trip.

The Orioles decided against selecting Martin’s contract yesterday, choosing to recall Rylan Bannon and giving him the start at third base. Martin boarded the charter to Detroit following a 3-2 win over the Cardinals, unsure if he’d appear in his first major league game since Oct. 3, 2021 or eventually return to the Norfolk Tides.

The only information coming to Martin was the 12:30 a.m. phone call Wednesday morning instructing him to join the Orioles in St. Louis, where he’d be placed on the taxi squad. Something about a few injury concerns, but nothing else.

Infielder Ramón Urías and first baseman Ryan Mountcastle were day-to-day and a three-man bench was down to one healthy player. They expanded it to four yesterday and still only had catcher Robinson Chirinos available.

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Orioles celebrate Bannon debut and bullpen game with a win (updated)

bannon dives debut @STL gray

ST. LOUIS – Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said the club needs to find out about its players on the 40-man roster, part of a 2022 itinerary that also includes development in the farm system, prospect promotions and trying to win games and move closer to competitive status.

There’s some serious multi-tasking happening from top to bottom in the organization, with plenty of hands trying to keep it balanced.

Rylan Bannon earned his first major league promotion and start this afternoon, one of those guys the club wants to get its eyes on, and the moment wasn’t too big for him.

Bannon made a diving backhand stop along the third base line and threw out Nolan Arenado to end the first inning. He lined a single into left field on the first pitch thrown to him in the second following Jorge Mateo’s home run.

A bullpen game for the Orioles to close out the series produced an unlikely result, Bannon’s favorable first impression one highlight in a 3-2 victory over the Cardinals.

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Bannon recalled and gets start at third base in debut


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.”

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Baker gets start for Orioles to wrap up series (updated)

Baker gets start for Orioles to wrap up series (updated)

ST. LOUIS – Bryan Baker makes his first career start in the majors as the Orioles commit to a bullpen game to close out their series against the Cardinals.

Baker has made 12 relief appearances, including 11 this season with the Orioles. He’s allowed six runs and 11 hits with 11 strikeouts in 10 innings in 2022.

Baker started 13 times in 174 minor league games.

Manager Brandon Hyde hasn’t used Baker for more than 1 2/3 innings or 24 pitches. Left-hander Keegan Akin could provide bulk innings behind him.

Baker’s last appearance was May 5.

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More on rotation and roster composition as Orioles conclude series

Kyle Bradish throws gray

ST. LOUIS – The moment has arrived when the Orioles must announce their starting pitcher for today’s game and determine whether Ryan Mountcastle or Ramón Urías is available to play. And if not, whether they want to close out their series with a one-man bench, this time catcher Robinson Chirinos, who started last night.

By “moment,” of course, I’m referring to later today. They won’t do anything at this ungodly hour.

Keegan Akin could be pried from the relief role he’s thriving in or work in bulk behind a short-inning guy. Akin hasn’t pitched since the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader.

Marcos Diplán and Denyi Reyes are on the taxi squad.

The Orioles reached their maximum of five players for the taxi squad with infielders Rylan Bannon and Richie Martin arriving yesterday from Triple-A Norfolk.

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Shorthanded Orioles endure long night in St. Louis (updated)

Spenser Watkins throwing gray

ST. LOUIS – The Orioles know how easily momentum in baseball can be lost. How it’s defined as the next day’s starting pitcher.

Injuries also can wreck it. They're like black ice for a team attempting to speed toward respectability.

A recent surge left the Orioles only four games below .500 heading into tonight, where they ran into Cardinals right-hander Miles Mikolas after scratching another player from their lineup.

It proved to be too much for them.

The Cardinals packed a home run and three doubles into the second inning against Spenser Watkins, piled on in the fourth and led throughout in a 10-1 win over the Orioles at Busch Stadium.

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Mountcastle scratched from lineup with sore wrist


ST. LOUIS - The Orioles apparently will avoid making a roster move prior to tonight’s game, but they might not have a choice by the 12:15 p.m. CST series finale.

Ryan Mountcastle was scratched from the lineup due to soreness in his left wrist. Ramón Urías remains day-to-day with some discomfort in his abdomen, leaving catcher Anthony Bemboom as the only healthy reserve on the Orioles’ three-man bench.

The original lineup included Mountcastle as the designated hitter. He made a brief appearance in one of the doorways in the visiting clubhouse during media access and had his wrist taped.

“Ramón’s feeling better,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “They’re still doing some rehab, some tests on it right now, but he is feeling better today, so that’s a good sign.

“Mounty’s been dealing with a sore wrist the last few days, just kind of battling through it. Woke up with it a little bit more sore today, so out of precaution took him out of the lineup. Trying to get that to feel better, and hopefully he’s ready in the next day or two.”

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Orioles and Cardinals lineups

Chris Owings throw gray

ST. LOUIS – Ramón Urías is out of the Orioles lineup for tonight’s game against the Cardinals.

Urías was a late scratch last night due to discomfort in his abdomen, which he noticed in batting practice.

Chris Owings is the shortstop, with Rougned Odor at second base and Tyler Nevin at third.

Jorge Mateo also is on the bench.

Cedric Mullins recorded his 100th career RBI last night and had a season-high four hits. He has three home runs in his last six games and six extra-base hits in his last seven.

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