CINCINNATI – As the Orioles begin their latest road trip and look to move two games over the .500 mark tonight, they turn to right-hander Kyle Bradish to make his first big league start in over a month.
Bradish (1-4, 7.38 ERA) rejoins the rotation tonight, coming off the injured list after dealing with right shoulder inflammation. Tonight he makes his first start for the Orioles since allowing six runs in 4 1/3 innings on June 18 versus Tampa Bay.
Bradish, who is 1-0 with a 3.09 ERA in two interleague starts, made two rehab outings for Double-A Bowie on July 9 and 14 and pitched eight scoreless allowing just one hit. Last Sunday, in a rehab start for Triple-A Norfolk at Durham, he gave up two runs and four hits over 4 2/3 innings.
In those games Bradish threw 36, 66 and 80 pitches.
“Kyle had his last rehab start a few days ago," manager Brandon Hyde said today in the O's dugout. "He feels well, it went good. We have a need in our rotation right now and it allows us to push back Dean (Kremer) a day which I think is a positive. Hopefully Kyle can come back up here in the big leagues and work ahead in the count and throw strikes. We love his stuff and his stuff definitely plays up here. Now it’s about working ahead in the count.”
Hyde said Bradish got built back up in his rehab starts to be able to go deep in tonight’s game.
“He’s built up. Think it was 80 pitches his last rehab start. So, I think (if) everything goes well and he has some easy innings and keeps his pitch count down during innings he could go 90 to 95 pitches,” he said.
Bradish struggled when last seen with the Orioles in June. He allowed 11 runs over 8 2/3 his last two starts.
“I think he was just trying to do too much,” Hyde said. “His starts that he struggled, mechanically he could get a little out of whack. He was trying to overpower the baseball a little bit, overpower hitters. Such a great arm and two really good breaking balls. If he can just fill up the strikezone, good things will happen.”
The Orioles today set their rotation for this weekend series at Great American Ball Park. Right-hander Dean Kremer (3-2, 3.06 ERA) will pitch on Saturday night and right-hander Austin Voth (1-1, 6.15 ERA) on Sunday afternoon.
The O’s have not set any starters yet for Texas, but it could be Spenser Watkins getting the ball on Monday.
Hyde today talked also about Ryan Mountcastle who has struggled recently, going 3-for-31 his last eight games.
“He’s expanding the zone and for me he is fouling pitches he could hit. For me now he’s a little in between. Tampa is tough and they know how to pitch and know us so well. But Mounty at times can chase the slider down and away and chase the fastball up. When he is going well he does take those pitches. I felt like the pitches he got to hit, he just missed,” Hyde said.
Infielder/outfielder Terrin Vavra has been with the team for two games now and is looking to make his first major league appearance. He is not in tonight’s starting lineup but that could come soon.
“Looking to get him in there the next couple of days. Had him ready off the bench yesterday to pinch-hit in a big spot. Same thing tonight. Yeah, he might be in there tomorrow, we’ll see," he said.