ST. LOUIS - The Orioles apparently will avoid making a roster move prior to tonight’s game, but they might not have a choice by the 12:15 p.m. CST series finale.
Ryan Mountcastle was scratched from the lineup due to soreness in his left wrist. Ramón Urías remains day-to-day with some discomfort in his abdomen, leaving catcher Anthony Bemboom as the only healthy reserve on the Orioles’ three-man bench.
The original lineup included Mountcastle as the designated hitter. He made a brief appearance in one of the doorways in the visiting clubhouse during media access and had his wrist taped.
“Ramón’s feeling better,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “They’re still doing some rehab, some tests on it right now, but he is feeling better today, so that’s a good sign.
“Mounty’s been dealing with a sore wrist the last few days, just kind of battling through it. Woke up with it a little bit more sore today, so out of precaution took him out of the lineup. Trying to get that to feel better, and hopefully he’s ready in the next day or two.”
The Orioles are ready if they need to adjust the active roster.
Infielders Rylan Bannon and Richie Martin were added to the taxi squad this afternoon. The unit already includes catcher Jacob Nottingham and relievers Marcos Diplán and Denyi Reyes.
Whether Bannon or Martin are elevated to the 26-man roster “depends if guys get hurt or not,” Hyde said.
“I think with some question marks, we’re playing with a three-man bench, a couple guys are banged up right now, out of precaution with a day game tomorrow, also, we just don’t want to be caught short-handed,” Hyde said. “We felt like it was important to bring a couple extra guys here just in case.
“No move tonight.”
Mountcastle is batting .268/.299/.402 with three doubles and four home runs in 117 plate appearances. He was 10-for-21 with two home runs during a five-game hitting streak that ended last night and went 4-for-5 in Game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader.
Hyde said there wasn’t a singular incident that caused Mountcastle’s physical issue.
“Just one of those developing things,” Hyde said. “Just felt sore one morning a few days ago. He’s been getting treatment on it. Been feeling OK, just woke up a little bit more sore today.”
Urías said the soreness should be gone in a couple days, and described it as cramping in his abs. He didn’t undergo X-rays or an MRI.
“We don’t know what happened,” he said. “Feeling better today. I’ll do some stuff on the field and see how it feels.”
Martin has appeared in 21 games with Triple-A Norfolk and batted .282/.351/.447 with seven doubles, two triples and a home run. He's 9-for-22 this month.
The former Rule 5 pick is primarily a middle infielder like Bannon, though he's played some outfield.
Bannon, who’s on the 40-man roster, is batting .235/.361/.382 with three doubles, four home runs and 19 RBIs in 29 games with Norfolk. He was sitting on the couch with his wife watching Netflix when Tides manager Buck Britton called at 12:30 a.m.
“He told me I was going on the taxi squad and there’s some injury concerns up here,” said Bannon, 26, who came to the Orioles in the 2018 Manny Machado trade with the Dodgers. “As of right now it’s all precautionary. Just kind of taking it in stride. Happy to be here.
“It’s awesome, getting a little taste of what’s going on here. It’s cool. Definitely just coming in the clubhouse today and seeing how some of these guys are carrying themselves and just getting the feel for what’s going on up here is awesome. It’s a good opportunity for me.”
Bannon didn’t make it past Triple-A last summer, slashing .168/.289/.359 in 90 games but also going on a power binge that produced 16 home runs.
“It’s definitely had some highs and lows,” he said. “I’m just kind of taking everything in stride. Last year was a tough year for me, but I think I took a lot away from last year and I think that’s showing this year. I learned a lot about myself and I came out this year pretty strong.”
Bannon has family in Chicago that’s ready to make the short trip to St. Louis if he’s playing in the majors for the first time.
“They’re excited about that,” Bannon said, “so hopefully we can make that happen.”
An actual highlight for Bannon arrived before Britton’s phone call. His over-the-shoulder catch, bobble and recovery of a popup in shallow left field Tuesday night made "SportsCenter’s" Top 10 plays.
“Kind of crazy,” he said. “My phone was blowing up this morning that I was on Top 10. That was fun.
“I didn’t know. I found out on Instagram.”
Mullins moves to the designated hitter role tonight and Austin Hays slides over to center field. Tyler Nevin switches from third base to left field. Jorge Mateo goes from the bench to shortstop, with Chris Owings starting at third.
“I want to get Cedric off his feet as much as possible,” Hyde said. “We just played 18 innings. I know it was after a couple rainouts, but 18 innings, game, travel, another game. So, I’m going to try to rotate these outfielders as much as I possibly can. But it’s tough when you’ve got other guys you’ve got to sit, also, because they’re banged up.
“Bench is smaller. That’s what happens in the big leagues. Teams deal with this all the time. So, right now we’re a little bit banged up, but hopefully we’ll get healthy here and our guys will be OK in a day or two.”
The adversity seems to come in waves.
“We’ve had some,” Hyde said, smiling. “You play a six-month season, you feel like when somebody gets banged up, it’s a domino effect a little bit where all of a sudden you get two or three guys. We’ve been really fortunate so far, and right now we’re a little bit nicked up, got some bumps and bruises, and fortunately we have (head athletic trainer) Brian Ebel and a great training staff to get these guys back on the field.”
The starter for Thursday remains TBA.
“We’ll see how tonight goes,” Hyde said.
Here’s the new lineup:
Cedric Mullins DH
Trey Mancini 1B
Anthony Santander RF
Austin Hays CF
Rougned Odor 2B
Jorge Mateo SS
Tyler Nevin LF
Robinson Chirinos C
Chris Owings 3B
Spenser Watkins RHP
The Orioles provided an update on high Single-A Aberdeen infielder Connor Norby, who left last night’s game after being hit by a pitch on the helmet and face.
Norby will be unavailable for the next few days due to swelling around his eye.
César Prieto has returned to the lineup and is playing second base. He missed about two weeks with a right hamstring strain.