Bradish has first spring bullpen session

SARASOTA, Fla. – Kyle Bradish has graduated from playing catch.

Bradish completed his first bullpen session earlier today, throwing only fastballs from the mound.

“Looking well,” said manager Brandon Hyde.

Bradish extended his long-tossing to 140 feet as part of his progression that led to today’s bullpen work.

The Orioles remain hopeful that Bradish can avoid surgery to repair a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in January.

Today’s session didn’t give the team a firmer timeline on a possible return. It was just the next step, and an important one.

“It does not mean that, no,” Hyde said.

John Means also had a bullpen session today. His elbow is fine but soreness in October delayed his offseason throwing program and put him behind the other starters.

Means will join Bradish on the injured list on Opening Day.

Cedric Mullins will be in Thursday’s lineup in Bradenton unless there’s an unexpected setback in his recovery from a sore hamstring.

Mullins hasn’t played since March 4, when he reached second base in the first inning and came out of the game.

“We’re hoping he’s in there tomorrow,” Hyde said.

Jordan Westburg is making his third start at shortstop, his primary position in college and the minors. He’s started at third base in five games and at second base in two.

“I think he’s been really solid (at short),” Hyde said. “I’m going to keep moving him around. Trying to give him as many looks at third as possible. At shortstop, it’s his natural position, just kind of keep him used to it but also give him at-bats and have other guys play other places. We’re trying to see him at third as much as possible.”

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