ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Orioles manager Brandon Hyde sounded confident today that first baseman Ryan Mountcastle would avoid the injured list after being hit yesterday on the left hand.
Mountcastle is receiving treatment to reduce the swelling. The hand was wrapped this morning.
“His hand’s pretty sore from getting hit there yesterday, kind of in a tender spot, so hopefully he’s available to hit. Not really sure at this point,” Hyde said.
“I don’t think it’s an IL situation. I think it’s more day-to-day. Hopefully, he feels better as the day goes on today after getting some treatment, but we’ll see.”
DL Hall remains with the club today before rejoining Triple-A Norfolk and beginning the switch to a relief role. Hall allowed five runs and five hits with three walks and six strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings in his major league debut.
“Debuts are hard and tough, and it was great to see him get this experience,” Hyde said. “I don’t think the results were exactly what he wanted, but there were a lot of nerves yesterday, and some anxious moments. But I think it’s really going to benefit him going forward getting through that and seeing what it’s like up here.
“You don’t know what it’s like until you get here and to be thrown in this type of environment. I thought he handled everything before the game, after the game, really, really well.”
Hall struck out the side on 12 pitches in the second inning, easily the highlight of his day. His fastball topped out at 97.2 mph.
“He’s got great stuff across the board,” Hyde said. “I think that he was holding back a little bit yesterday, and I think you’re going to see that stuff continue, what he showed in the second inning, which is a glimpse of what he’s going to be.”
Tyler Wells played catch on the field yesterday for the first time since experiencing soreness in his lower back and left side.
“Everything felt good, progressing well,” he said. “Just kind of staying on course with it. It’s kind of just, like I said the entire time so far, we’re taking it day by day and making sure that everything is progressing the way we want it to. We check in with them and then they decide what the next few days are going to look like. So, we’re really not trying to make a plan for, I guess, long term, if you want to call it that. We’re just taking it on a day-by-day basis. Something like this, you just never know.”
Wells could play long toss every other day. He's still learning about his schedule.
“I don’t think we’ve gotten that far yet,” he said. “They just want me to check in on the days and see how it goes. All I can say is it felt good yesterday, and it feels so far, so good today.”
The Orioles want to get Wells back on the active roster, but he can’t express much optimism this early in his recovery and baseball activities. He’s using this time to make improvements that extend beyond his health.
“I guess the best way I’m trying to approach this that, if I get an opportunity to pitch again this season, my goal is to come back better than I was before,” he said. “So, in better shape, stronger, feeling better than what I was, as far as like, I have a couple mechanical things I’m working on. The way I look at this rehab process is that it’s an opportunity to better myself in the ways that I need to better myself. So, taking my time to make sure I’m able to work on some throwing things that I’m working through out there to make sure that I stay on top of my mechanics.
“I’m working really hard with the strength and conditioning and the trainers. Everyone’s been awesome in trying to, we’re staying on top of our workout program, our rehab, and I’m having daily conversations with them every day. So, everyone’s been great to make sure we stay on path to come back better, hopefully, then I was before.”
Asked again about the odds that he’ll pitch before the season ends, Wells said, “I can’t answer that for you because it’s not up to me. As long as I feel good, it’s day-by-day basis, so that’s completely up to them and how I’m feeling.”
Hyde is encouraged by Wells’ progress and thinks the right-hander could return. The club hasn't decided to shut him down.
“First day throwing yesterday, went well, he feels good,” Hyde said. “Now, it’s just going to be that ramp-up from an oblique strain. Takes a little bit of time, but he got off in the right direction yesterday and hopefully, there are no setbacks.”