Hyde on Cowser: “I think you’re going to see him in there the next couple days, possibly a start tomorrow”

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde posted his fourth lineup this afternoon and it’s still missing Colton Cowser.

The young outfielder has appeared in three games and received two at-bats. He replaced Anthony Santander in right field on Opening Day and didn’t get to the plate, did it again Saturday and stroked a double to right field in the eighth inning, and pinch-hit for Jordan Westburg yesterday in the eighth and grounded out on the first pitch to strand a runner.

Santander, Austin Hays and Cedric Mullins have started in the outfield in every game. Westburg, Ryan O’Hearn and Adley Rutschman have been used at designated hitter, with O’Hearn getting the assignment again tonight against right-hander Michael Wacha.

The Orioles saw two left-handed starters in the Angels series and get southpaw Cole Ragans Wednesday in the series finale against the Royals.

“It’s easier as the season gets going and you get a chance to give guys days off and rotate a little bit,” Hyde said. “I think you’re going to see him in there the next couple days, possibly a start tomorrow.”

The life of a fourth outfielder on a club rich in talent and versatility calls for patience. Hyde will find spots for him.

“Right now, we’ve got regular guys and I’m going to rest when it’s appropriate and guys are going to get their turn. It’s just kind of tough when the season just started.”

Closer Craig Kimbel also is waiting his turn. He hasn’t appeared in a game in 12 days, going back, obviously, to spring training.

The Orioles didn’t have a slim margin to protect against the Angels, outscoring them 24-7 in the first two games and losing yesterday 4-1.

Kimbrel’s Orioles debut could happen later tonight.

“We’ll see. Love to have a lead and put him in there,” Hyde said.

“I’ll talk to him. I wanted to get (Yennier) Cano in there yesterday. That’s why I threw him an inning. But Craig’s been around for a little while, also. I’ll talk to him and see what happens.”

Westburg is the second baseman again tonight. He’s also been the DH and third baseman and used late at shortstop.

“I wanted to give him an opportunity early,” Hyde said. “He played a lot in a platoon basis last year and he came up and did a nice job. Just looking to give him a little bit more of a look early this year, try to get him as comfortable as I can. We believe in him and his talent.”

John Means made his first injury rehab start yesterday at Triple-A Norfolk and was charged with seven runs in an inning plus. He threw 32 pitches, 21 for strikes, and surrendered a pair of home runs.

The Orioles don’t really care about the stat line. It’s all about health, how Means’ arm responded afterward and this morning.

“I read the report and he felt good,” Hyde said. “I know the numbers didn’t show great success but he felt good, physically.

“That’s what matters in any rehab outing, for sure.”

Jonathan Heasley is using the locker that belonged to Nick Vespi until the Orioles optioned the left-hander on Saturday.

Cionel Pérez went on the injured list yesterday with a right oblique strain and Heasley got the call.

“I honestly can’t tell you I expected to be called up two games into the year,” he said. “I hadn’t even thrown in Triple-A. You’ve just got to be ready at all times, and obviously I’m incredibly excited for an opportunity to get my feet wet and get out there and help the team any way I can. It’s been an exciting transition over here and I’m excited to get on the field.”

Heasley didn’t have time to unpack all of his belongings. He was in the Tides’ bullpen when told about his promotion.

“I was in the hotel just down the road from the stadium, so I kind of still had a ton of stuff in my truck,” he said. “It was a pretty easy and quick transition out of there.”

The Orioles waited until the final day to option Heasley to the minor league side, after he allowed a run in the ninth inning against the Twins in Fort Myers.

“First outing, aside from that, everything was pretty good,” he said. “I think I learned a lot about myself and a lot about pitching in general and put together some new ideas with a new organization. I feel like I was able to learn a lot and made some good progress throughout the spring, for sure.

“Obviously, your goal is always to make the team out of camp and it would have been cool to make my first Opening Day roster, that sort of thing, but at the same time I’m very aware of the talent that’s in this organization, and there’s a lot of depth and a lot of guys who earned their spots to be here, as well. It’s one of those things where I feel like I did my part and controlled what I could control.

“At the end of the day they made their decision and I can live with knowing I put my best foot forward, and here I am with an opportunity a little bit faster than we may have expected, and I feel like I’m ready to go.”

It was a good sign that Heasley lasted as long as he did in camp.

“That’s why I felt like, the longer you’re there, the better,” he said. “That’s what I would think, that’s the way I took it.

“I was talking to my wife on the way over here and I was like, ‘You know, it’s pretty crazy. Tomorrow I might be activated for, in my opinion, the best team in baseball.’”

As fate would have it, Heasley might get a chance to face his former club. He was on the field earlier today to visit with old teammates. Ryan O’Hearn and Adam Frazier did the same.

“Pretty crazy how this game works out,” Heasley said. “That’s pretty cool, for sure. I still have some buddies over there and that’s the team that gave me my first opportunity in the big leagues, so they’ll always have a special place in my heart. But once we get in between those lines, it’ll be game on, and I’m excited to get to compete against them and those guys, for sure.”

Here are the break-camp rosters for Double-A Bowie, High-A Aberdeen and Single-A Delmarva.

For the Royals

Maikel Garcia 3B
Bobby Witt Jr. SS
Vinnie Pasquantino 1B
Salvador Pérez C
MJ Melendez LF
Hunter Renfroe RF
Adam Frazier 2B
Nelson Velázquez DH
Kyle Isbel CF

Michael Wacha RHP

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