Kyle Bradish set to join Orioles rotation

Kyle Bradish is coming back to the Orioles, and a little faster than anticipated.

Manager Brandon Hyde said Bradish is returning to the major league rotation. The right-hander’s injury rehab assignment will end early.

Bradish started last night for Triple-A Norfolk and held Gwinnett to one run in five innings, with one walk and six strikeouts. He’s stretched out to 77 pitches.

The assignment technically began on April 16 with three scoreless innings at Double-A Bowie, and the 30-day period would have carried Bradish into the middle of May. However, he threw a live batting practice session on April 11 at High-A Aberdeen, which sped up the process to get him ready.

“He threw the ball really well last night and our medical team talked to him this morning,” Hyde said. “Our pitching guys, as well. He feels great. We’re just looking right now kind of when to slot him in, but he’s going to be with us soon.”

Bradish made three starts in the minors, the last two with Norfolk, and struck out 14 batters in 11 1/3 innings. He allowed five runs and 12 hits and walked four batters.

“It’s just part of his progression,” Hyde said of Bradish’s truncated assignment. “He got to an innings spot and the amount of pitches he threw, where we feel like he’s ready,” Hyde said. “Kyle was one of the best pitchers in the league last year and we’re excited to have him back.”

Asked, for clarity, on whether Bradish is making another rehab start or rejoining the Orioles, Hyde said, “He’s probably going to go back into the rotation.”

Bradish was diagnosed in January with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. He received a platelet-rich plasma injection in an attempt to heal the injury and avoid season-ending surgery.

Having Bradish pitching again is a shot in the arm for a team that began today percentage points ahead of the Yankees for first place. He finished fourth in Cy Young voting in the American League last season after going 12-7 with a 2.83 ERA and 1.043 WHIP in 30 starts, and Hyde chose him for Game 1 of the Division Series.

The Orioles haven’t announced their rotation for the four-game series against the Yankees at Camden Yards, but Bradish could start Wednesday on regular rest or Thursday to keep ace Corbin Burnes on his normal turn.

John Means makes his final rehab start Sunday with Norfolk, forcing another move to create room for him. It's a pleasant problem to have, but also a complication with no easy resolution.

“We’re keeping everything open right now. We’re day-to-day with everything right now,” Hyde said.

“You cannot have enough pitching.”

The Orioles aren’t expected to go with a six-man rotation, even a modified version of it.

Hyde said “no” when asked, but added, “I think everything’s up on the table right now.”

“The way pitching is right now, we’re so day-to-day," he added. "Just waiting to see what happens.”

Tyler Wells, on the injured list with inflammation in his right elbow, said he feels better but isn’t cleared to throw. He’ll begin with flat-ground sessions before progressing to a mound and live hitters.

“Everything is going smoothly,” he said.

“We’re just kind of slow-playing it a little bit,” Hyde said. “We’re making sure there’s no soreness in there. Just going to give him a little bit of time off.”

The first 20,000 fans 15 and over at tonight’s game receive a Hyde bobblehead. He said his family has received many requests everyone is excited, though his kids are at "that teenage cool age right now" and don't show it outwardly.

"I'm flattered," Hyde said. "I know that they're excited to get one today. They've seen pictures. My parents are enjoying that I have a bobblehead."

Catcher David Bañuelos cleared waivers again today and remains in the Orioles organization. He was designated for assignment yesterday to make room for outfielder Ryan McKenna on the 40-man roster.

For the Athletics

Esteury Ruiz LF
Tyler Nevin RF
Brent Rooker DH
Shea Langeliers C
Abraham Toro 1B
JJ Bleday CF
Max Schuemann 2B
Nick Allen SS
Darell Hernaiz 3B

JP Sears LHP

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