Hicks: “I feel like by the end of the 10 days I should be good" (updated)

PHILADELPHIA – Orioles outfielder Aaron Hicks is hopeful that he can return to the active roster after 10 days.

Hicks went on the injured list this afternoon with a strained left hamstring. He exited last night’s game in the third inning after diving for Johan Rojas’ shallow fly ball.

He lost control of it but was credited with the catch. The Phillies didn’t request the challenge within the allotted 15 seconds.

It proved to be costly to Hicks.

“I feel like by the end of the 10 days I should be good,” he said. “Obviously last night I thought it was just a cramp, and then woke up this morning not really feeling that great. I had to go get an MRI today and obviously that landed me on the IL, but I only think it’s going to take about the 10 days.”

Hicks was the primary center fielder after Cedric Mullins went on the injured list May 30, and got regular at-bats again with Mullins on the IL retroactive to July 16 with an adductor groin strain. He’s batting .252/.349/.435 with four doubles, a triple, six home runs and 20 RBIs in 42 games after the Yankees released him.

Last night’s injury was new to Hicks in terms of the discomfort level. He hasn’t been told the grade.

“I’ve strained my hamstring pretty well,” he said, “but it’s never really felt like this, to where I only thought it was a cramp yesterday.”

The hard landing didn’t create the issue, which is how it appeared at first.

“It was pretty much as soon as I went into my dive is kind of where it started to hurt,” he said.

Ryan McKenna returned to the clubhouse and is on the bench for tonight’s game. He got the call last night, rejoining the Orioles for the first time since July 5. He was moved to make room for Colton Cowser, who’s starting in center field tonight.

“I don’t think there’s any sort of confidence that was lost,” McKenna said. “It was all just trying to get the work in, situational, understanding what’s going on. There’s a lot of good players here but I know I’m a big leaguer. Just staying ready and being prepared for an opportunity.”

McKenna had a hit in four of his last six games with an at-bat, including his walk-off homer in the 10th inning June 24 against Seattle. But a spot had to be opened for Cowser, the No. 14 prospect in baseball, per MLB Pipeline.

“It wasn’t something I necessarily thought about before,” he said. “Just trying to do what I could, and I know what type of player I can be and help this team win every day. That was kind of what my focus was, and happy to be back.”

McKenna saw an increase in playing time with Norfolk, one benefit of a major league reserve being demoted.

“Tried to steal some bases and just see pitches and be involved in the game every day,” he said.

“It was a little different. I was facing a lot of righties, so just kind of seeing how the ball’s moving a little differently and how they’re attacking me as a hitter. But just keep doing what I know I do well, and playing hard.”

Double-A Bowie lost to Somerset 6-0 in a game shortened to six innings due to rain.

Jud Fabian doubled and Greg Cullen singled for the only Baysox hits. Carlos Tavera allowed two runs and five hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

The tarp is on the field as another storm hits. The area was pelted by heavy rain earlier this afternoon.

For the Phillies
Kyle Schwarber DH
Trea Turner SS
Bryce Harper 1B
Nick Castellanos RF
Bryson Stott 2B
J.T. Realmuto C
Alec Bohm 3B
Brandon Marsh LF
Johan Rojas CF  

Taijuan Walker RHP

Update: The Orioles signed Florida State pitcher Jackson Baumeister, the 63rd overall pick, before today’s deadline. MLB.com’s Jim Callis has Baumeister’s bonus at $1,605,100, above the $1,243,300 slot value.

Baumeister is the highest pitcher selected under executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias.

The team also announced that it signed pitcher Michael Forret, a 14th-rounder out of Providence.

Baumeister and Forret bring the total number of signings to 19 out of 22.

Manager Brandon Hyde said it's unfortunate that Hicks is going to be "down for a little bit," but he feels good about the other options.

"It's a long season and we've got a couple more months to go," he said. "There's going to be other things that are going to happen throughout, but guys have to pick up where other guys left off, and it's just part of the game."

Hyde wasn't sure whether Hicks would return after the 10-day period.

"I think a hamstring, you just never know," he said. "Ten days, two weeks, I'm just not really sure."

Cowser will get the bulk of the starts in center field against right-handers.

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Orioles place Hicks on IL, recall McKenna

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