Hyde on Coulombe: “He’s going to get further tests done and we’re hoping for the best"

The Orioles regained the services of their second baseman today and lost a high-leverage reliever with All-Star credentials.

Jorge Mateo was reinstated from the seven-day concussion list and is in tonight’s lineup against the Braves, with Connor Norby optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. Norby had a locker set up in the clubhouse and didn’t get to use it.

The shocker is Danny Coulombe going on the 15-day injured list retroactive to Sunday with left elbow inflammation.

Coulombe has registered a 2.42 ERA and 0.615 WHIP in 29 appearances. He’s allowed seven runs and 13 hits in 26 innings, with only three walks, 28 strikeouts and three home runs surrendered.

The bullpen has allowed only two earned runs in the last 34 innings and Coulombe is an integral part of its success, including a 3.29 ERA that ranks third in the American League and fourth in the majors.

The injury comes after Coulombe retired all six batters he faced Saturday in St. Petersburg, Fla. and struck out three Rays to earn his 13th hold. He hasn’t allowed a run in seven of his last eight appearances.

“Played catch yesterday before the game and felt a little sore, so put him on the IL,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “He’s going to get further tests done and we’re hoping for the best. He was a little sore after he pitched the day before, but it was kind of after-he-pitched soreness. And yesterday playing catch, felt something not right with the elbow.

“He’s been crucial for the bullpen. He’s been one of the best relievers in the game, really. Fills in all different kinds of spots for us. Hopefully we can ride the ship until he’s back, but he’s had a heck of a year so far.”

Coulombe made 61 appearances last season, his first with the Orioles, and recorded a 2.81 ERA and 1.110 WHIP in 51 1/3 innings. He missed three weeks in August with biceps tendinitis.

Hyde is trying to keep his staff healthy, monitoring innings and ups, but he’s lost another pitcher to injury.

“I take it hard, honestly,” he said. “Injuries are part of the game and there’s a lot of pitching injuries happening right now around the league. It scares you, so you try to keep your guys as healthy as possible, knowing that things like this are going to happen. But you want to stay as healthy as you possibly can.

“We’ve done an amazing job of that for the last couple years, and for me that’s a big reason for our success last year. I’m trying to do that again this year but these things do happen. Just a little bit out of your control. But you just try to have the next-man-up mentality and hope that guys like Danny can come back as quick as possible.”

Right-hander Bryan Baker was recalled from Norfolk for the first time this season, leaving Cionel Pérez and Keegan Akin as the only lefties in the bullpen. Nick Vespi has been optioned four times this season and the maximum is five before the rules require him to pass through waivers.

Baker has posted a 6.55 ERA and 1.455 WHIP with five saves in 23 games with the Tides. He’s walked 13 and struck out 30 in 22 innings.

The recent output has improved. He hasn’t allowed a run in five straight appearances and seven of eight to whittle the 8.47 ERA he carried on May 26.

“Bake is someone we’re very, very familiar with,” Hyde said. “Pitching really well right now in Norfolk, so we’re excited to have him back. He’s going to fit right into the bullpen. When his name’s called I know he’s going to give me everything he’s got.”

Baker was on the Opening Day roster last year before the Orioles optioned him in August. He made the Division Series roster and walked the bases loaded in Game 2, and Mitch Garver hit a grand slam off Jacob Webb.

Norby went 3-for-14 with a home run in his first major league experience. He was in the lineup for four games, the last on Saturday.

“I thought he did a great job,” Hyde said. “That was a cool experience for him. I think he’s going to be a lot better for it. Get a taste of the big leagues like that. On that road trip, two tough places to play. He saw us play winning baseball for six of the eight games and one-run losses the other two. I thought he swung the bat well, I thought he fit in outstanding, and I thought it was an unbelievable experience for him. You never know, you might see him back soon. Who knows?”

Kyle Stowers has his right wrist wrapped but is feeling better. He could be available tonight.

Hyde planned to give Gunnar Henderson the night off and hopes to avoid using him, though circumstances might change this thinking.

“He played eight games on turf and played every game so far,” Hyde said. “We get in the middle of the night last night and thought it was a good day to give him a little bit of a break.”

Asked whether Henderson resisted, Hyde said, “A little bit, yeah.”

“That’s not surprising," Hyde added. "He’s been playing so, so well and so hard. Had just an unbelievable season up to this point. To give him a little bit of a break in this stretch that we’re in, I felt like it was appropriate.”

Adley Rutschman will catch the next two games after serving tonight as designated hitter.

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Mateo comes off IL, Coulombe goes on it; Baker rec...
 

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