Austin Hays has his right wrist wrapped and is out of tonight’s lineup against the Rangers.
Hays was hit by a pitch yesterday, but X-rays were negative. He tried to swing a bat in the cage today and said it just didn’t seem like “a good idea to try to push it and make it even worse,” so he’s sitting as a precaution.
At least he avoided the injured list.
“It’s not feeling too bad,” said Hays, who’s celebrating his 27th birthday today. “The swelling seems like it’s stayed down, so it’s really just certain movements are what’s bothering it. It’s just like a day-to-day thing right now. X-rays were clean, no bad news from that front.
“I’ll be available off the bench tonight if I need to. … Let the trainers do their thing and treat it, and it should be good to go either tomorrow or the next day.”
Manager Brandon Hyde didn’t sound quite as confident in Hays’ ability to pinch-hit tonight.
“The wrist is pretty sore,” he said. “I’m hoping he’s available off the bench, but we’ll see. Got him in a tough spot in the wrist, and it’s the same wrist that he landed on in Chicago on that diving play in the outfield down the right field line. So, I’d like to try to give him a break today.”
Hays scored the winning run in the 10th inning yesterday after Jorge Mateo was hit on the left quadriceps. Mateo tested the leg today, which explained the delay in posting the lineup. He’s in it.
“It was kind of funny, me and Ced (Cedric Mullins) walking him down the line to first base,” Hays said. “It would have been like a movie scene if we could have picked him up and carried him down there and set him on first base. Yeah, you don’t see that happen very often, a walk-off hit by pitch.”
The Orioles could have sent out a runner to replace Mateo and reach first base if a serious injury had occurred. Mateo made it, limping and smiling the entire way.
“I made sure that I touched home when I came in to give him a hug, too,” Hays said. “I wanted to make sure that I didn’t mess that up. Just touch home and get him to touch first base.”
Mateo has some lingering soreness in the leg after absorbing a 93 mph fastball from Matt Moore with the bases loaded.
“Mateo is feeling better,” Hyde said.
The same isn’t true with Ryan Mountcastle, who’s out of the lineup due to the same sinus issue that caused Hyde to switch him yesterday from first base to designated hitter.
“He’s not feeling well,” Hyde said.
Kyle Bradish is going to throw a simulated game in the next few days, allowing him to face some hitters, and is nearing a return.
“We’re going to reevaluate from there,” Hyde said, “but he feels good and the shoulder feels great.”
John Means has returned to Camden Yards. He’s been rehabbing his surgically repaired left elbow back home in Texas.
Tyler Wells has logged 75 2/3 innings in his return to a starting role. Asked whether it’s realistic for Wells to reach 150, Hyde said, “Not really.”
“That’s why I’ve tried to shorten his starts, but it doesn’t seem to be working out real well,” Hyde said. “He’s just been so efficient. It’s like in Seattle. That day, we had a 60-pitch limit on him, and he has a no-hitter going into the fifth and about 46 pitches, or something like that.
“We’re measuring a lot of things. We’re measuring the stressful innings. That’s so key is how many times he’s really having to pitch with traffic and runners in scoring position. In Seattle it was zero, and then in Minnesota it was the last inning. We’re going to have to monitor in the second half, for sure, but I feel like we’ve handled it really well so far this year.”
The Orioles could find creative ways to give Wells a break for a week or so.
“I think anything’s possible,” Hyde said. “We honestly reevaluate after every start. We go in with an idea of what his last outing or previous outings looked like, we give him a day off when we can, we might skip a start. We’ll see. But we are monitoring closely.”
The plan is to let Wells finish the season rather than shutting him down early. The innings must be manipulated.
“Until you’ve been in the big leagues as a starter, you don’t know what pitching six months feels like. And then when you get good, you’re pitching seven,” Hyde said.
“To be able to last 30-35 starts is something that you can’t train for in the minor leagues, it’s something you can only experience up here. I think it is important.”
For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Trey Mancini 1B
Anthony Santander RF
Adley Rutschman DH
Ramón Urías 3B
Rougned Odor 2B
Ryan McKenna LF
Robinson Chirinos C
Jorge Mateo SS
Austin Voth RHP
Triple-A Norfolk infielder Jordan Westburg enters MLBPipeline.com’s top 100 prospects list by occupying the final spot.
Westburg is batting .330/.356/.660 with 10 doubles, two triples, six home runs and 21 RBIs in 22 games with Norfolk. He’s tied with Kyle Stowers for the most home runs among Orioles minor leaguers with 15.
Adley Rutschman is No. 1 on the list, but his eligibility is waning.
Grayson Rodriguez is third, Gunnar Henderson is 41st, Colton Cowser is 52nd and DL Hall is 73rd.
Left-hander Cameron Bishop retired, according to the minor league transactions page. Bishop, a 26th-round pick in the 2017 draft, allowed two earned runs in 9 1/3 relief innings with Norfolk, and posted a 3.57 ERA in six games and 17 2/3 innings with Double-A Bowie.