Notes on Mullins, Mountcastle, Vespi, bullpen and more

Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins is available to play today, but he’s beginning the game on the bench.

His health is fine.

“Just giving him a little breather,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “Long stretch.”

The next day off is a week from today.

Ryan Mountcastle hit in the cage today and did some throwing, and he’s going to take batting practice on the field prior on Friday’s game against the Rays.

Mountcastle isn’t experiencing any pain in his left wrist and forearm. It no longer radiates from his thumb. He expects to be activated from the injured list on Saturday when he’s eligible.

“He swung today and felt good,” Hyde said, “so he’ll take some BP on the field tomorrow and then hopefully it goes well and he’s in there for Saturday.”

Nick Vespi almost made his major league debut last night, with Hyde intending to use him in the eighth inning with the Orioles down 3-0 before they rallied for two runs.

“That changed the tune a little bit,” Hyde said, “but looking forward to getting him in the game sometime soon.”

Paul Fry will report to Triple-A Reno after the Orioles traded him last night to the Diamondbacks for 19-year-old pitcher Luis Osorio.

“I think that a change of scenery is a good thing a lot of time for guys,” Hyde said. “I hope Paul has success out there. (Manager) Torey Lovullo’s a great guy, it’s a great group over there, and I hope it fits right in and pitches well.”

Fry was one of the Orioles’ most effective relievers for a while, but his career spun in the other direction last summer. Hyde knows why.

“I just think it was 100 percent confidence with Paul,” Hyde said. “You could kind of see it in the first batter he was facing most nights, where this was either going to go really well or I might need to get somebody up. Paul’s got a really good slider, he’s got a great sinker, a fastball that gets put on the ground. It’s really about walks and pitching behind in the count, and for me that was just confidence.

“When he was confident, especially that first half of last year, he was lights out.”

Veterans keep peeling away from the bullpen, with Fry the latest departure. Tanner Scott and Cole Sulser were traded to the Marlins late in camp.

The major league track records are much shorter within the current group of relievers, but it isn’t a ‘pen littered with kids.

“I think guys do look for help and veteran guys can give that a lot of times,” Hyde said. “Our guys for me, a lot of them are minor league grinder type of guys who have paid their dues in the minor leagues. It’s not like they just had a quick minor league deal and they’re up here in a year and a half or two years. They rode the bus for a while and have seen a lot of players and logged quite a few Triple-A innings to be where they’re at right now. So, even though we don’t have a veteran, they do have quite a bit of upper-level experience. They’re not like young guys. So, I think they’re feeding off each other.”

For the Yankees
DJ LeMahieu 3B
Aaron Judge RF
Anthony Rizzo 1B
Giancarlo Stanton DH
Gleyber Torres 2B
Aaron Hicks CF
Isiah Kiner-Falefa SS
Kyle Higashioka C
Marwin Gonzalez LF

Jordan Montgomery LHP

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