More on today's decision to put Rodriguez on injured list, Means says he's "ready to go"

The clarity that must come to the Orioles’ rotation plans weren’t evident this afternoon.

Manager Brandon Hyde confirmed the obvious intention of starting John Means, who was reinstated today from the 15-day injured list. However, he isn’t ready to announce who’s on the mound Thursday afternoon or this weekend in Cincinnati.

“We have some roster moves we’ll have to make for a couple guys,” Hyde said.

The pitching waters became murkier with Grayson Rodriguez going on the 15-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation. His next turn on regular rest would have come Saturday night.

Hyde said he didn’t know the severity of the injury but was staying optimistic.

“We’re definitely doing this to be precautionary, but he woke up after the start the next morning with some right shoulder soreness, and he had some tests yesterday. He’s getting some tests in the next couple days,” Hyde said.

“Just wanted to give him at least a couple weeks off to let everything kind of calm down. He’s a big part of the rotation, we need him this year, and we’re just giving him some time off.”

Hyde didn’t share additional information on Rodriguez’s imaging on his shoulder.

“I’m not sure yet at this point,” Hyde said. “There’s a lot of things still to happen. We’re staying optimistic about it. His shoulder was sore a little more than normal after his start the other day.”

Rodriguez tied his career high with 101 pitches Monday against the Yankees, which resulted in 5 2/3 scoreless innings, and his fastball touched 98 mph. He’s 4-1 with a 3.71 ERA and 1.412 WHIP in six starts and has struck out 37 batters in 34 innings.

This is Rodriguez’s first stint on the IL since June 2022 when he missed three months with a strained lat muscle while on the verge of his first major league promotion.

The availability of closer Craig Kimbrel also wasn’t confirmed today. He had an extensive bullpen session yesterday and didn’t pitch in a 4-2 win over the Yankees.

“I haven’t seen him besides in the weight room and he hasn’t thrown yet,” Hyde said, “so I’m going to look at that soon.”

Hyde said none of the current starters will move to the bullpen for tonight’s game.

Means smiled earlier today and said he’d “probably” be a starter now that he’s back from the slow-play that followed his left forearm/elbow soreness in October. Hyde confirmed it later. The Orioles aren’t putting an All-Star and owner of a no-hitter in their bullpen.

“I’m not going to announce our rotation plan for the next few days yet,” Hyde said. “Means will be in the rotation. It’s just, we’re not quite there yet.”

Asked about Thursday’s series finale against the Yankees, Hyde replied, “Like I just said, I’m not going to announce the starters for the next few days.”

Means returned from Tommy John surgery and a strained upper-back muscle to make four September starts and allow seven runs in 23 2/3 innings. He carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning of a Sept. 23 game in Cleveland before surrendering a home run to Andrés Giménez.

To have him back healthy is a tremendous boost for a rotation that’s also missing Tyler Wells to right elbow inflammation and hasn’t had Kyle Bradish since the American League Division Series. Bradish will be reinstated this week, perhaps to start Thursday.

“You’re hopeful always,” Hyde said of sustained good health from Means. “Right now with pitching in general, you’re just hopeful. That’s why it’s tough to be too optimistic or be too pessimistic. You just don’t know what’s going to happen. When it comes to timetables and things like that, there’s setbacks, there’s all sorts of things.”

Means’ rehab assignment ended today and the Orioles had to reinstate him. They did so with great enthusiasm after his seven shutout innings Sunday with only one hit allowed and eight strikeouts.

“In Meansie’s case, I think that last outing, that was real positive and he felt great about it, he felt good during it, and he went seven innings and he went 90-something pitches,” Hyde said. “For me, that was the real (sign) that he’s ready to get back in the big leagues.”

“Feel great, feel great,” Means said this afternoon while standing at his locker. “Ready to go. Can’t wait.”

There were no setbacks during Means’ six rehab starts with Triple-A Norfolk.

“Felt healthy, which is the main thing,” he said. “The last outing really clicked, so ready to go. … Just try to carry that over.”

Means had to exhibit patience while rehabbing from elbow surgery and after tweaking his back during an exercise routine. He would have started in the Division Series except for the forearm strain.

Though Means was fine physically in camp, the Orioles delayed his winter throwing program and conceded on the first day that he wouldn’t be ready on Opening Day.

“Feels right being back here and seeing all the guys. Just embracing the feeling,” he said.

“You don’t take anything for granted. You embrace the little moments, just being here and being around the guys. Especially a big series like this.”

For the Yankees

Anthony Volpe SS
Juan Soto RF
Aaron Judge LF
Giancarlo Stanton DH
Anthony Rizzo 1B
Gleyber Torres 2B
Trent Grisham CF
Jose Trevino C
Oswaldo Cabrera 3B

Luis Gil RHP

Note: Steve Melewski is handling game coverage tonight.

O's game blog: Burnes faces Yankees in Game 3
Coulombe on Webb's save: "It fired me up"

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to