Hyde explains decision to start Suárez

The season is 18 games old and Albert Suárez has already made it back to the majors.

A fast promotion after an absence dating back to 2017.

The Orioles chose Suárez over left-hander Bruce Zimmermann, selecting his contract this morning from Triple-A Norfolk. He’s starting against the Twins, with the Orioles trying for the sweep.

“We needed a starter today and he is in line and we feel like this gives us our best chance to win against pretty much a right-handed club with some lefties sprinkled in there,” said manager Brandon Hyde.

“Loved the way Albert threw the ball in spring training for us. Pitched all the way right 'til the end until we set the roster. He had an outstanding camp. Strike-throwing ability, sits in the mid-90s, showed really good secondary stuff pitching against a lot of A lineups in spring training.”

A prime example was the exhibition game against the Phillies in Clearwater, when Suárez struck out seven in three scoreless innings against a big batch of regulars.

“As we’ve talked about a lot so far this year, you can’t really judge everything on spring training,” Hyde said, “but his stuff was really good and he’s a really cool story, so we’re happy to get him the ball today.”

Suárez impressed from his first bullpen and the Orioles gave him a legitimate shot to make the club after he spent the past five years in Japan and Korea. He hasn’t started in the majors since 2016 or gotten into a game since 2017 with the Giants.

“He opened our eyes from the stuff that was coming out of his hand,” Hyde said. “You see 96 and you see him throw his fastball by guys with life, and then the secondary stuff he was throwing for strikes, also. And he kept doing it every five days. We were excited about it.

“This is why you have major league depth, and need it today.”

Suárez hasn’t appeared in the majors in six years and 204 days. According to STATS, the Orioles’ record belongs to left-hander Daniel Boone, who returned on Sept. 16, 1990 after seven years and 351 days.

* Kyle Bradish tossed three scoreless innings last night in his first rehab start at Double-A Bowie, allowing one hit, walking none and striking out four. MASNsports.com’s Steve Melewski reported that Bradish’s fastball registered 95-96 mph.

“Positive reports. Came off the mound feeling good,” Hyde said.

“We saw him this morning, as well. He’s excited about his outing, excited for his next rehab start. Bottom line was he felt good after 40-plus pitches in three innings. Got some reports from people who were there who said his stuff looked really good, so we were happy about that.”

* John Means, meanwhile, remains on his rehab assignment with Triple-A Norfolk and is starting tonight.

Asked whether Means is one more rotation turn away from rejoining the Orioles, Hyde said, “Yeah, at least.”

O's game blog: Looking for a series sweep against ...
Suárez selected for today's start

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