Orioles place Means on injured list and recall Heasley

CHICAGO – John Means is returning to the 15-day injured list.

The Orioles announced today that Means has been diagnosed with a left forearm strain, the same ailment that delayed his 2024 debut.

Reliever Jonathan Heasley was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to replace Means on the roster.

Means tossed three scoreless innings yesterday in St. Louis but was flexing his arm and experiencing a noticeable decline in velocity across the board. The game was interrupted by rain but Means wasn’t returning for the fourth.

This is the latest setback for Means, who returned from Tommy John surgery last September, made four starts and missed the Division Series due to the forearm strain.

A delay in Means’ winter throwing program put him behind the other starters and forced him onto the IL. He’s made four starts and allowed six runs in 20 2/3 innings.

Plans to go with a six-man rotation have become more complicated.

Cole Irvin could rejoin the group after moving to the bullpen, but that leaves the Orioles with only five.

Heasley made three relief appearances with the Orioles earlier this season and allowed six earned runs (seven total) and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. He’s a fresh arm, last pitching for Norfolk on Sunday, and he’s surrendered only one run and 10 hits with 18 strikeouts in 20 innings.

Used Sunday to start against Lehigh Valley, Heasley responded with five scoreless innings and only two hits allowed.

Manager Brandon Hyde will meet with the media later today to expand on the Means news and perhaps his pitching plans moving forward.

The Orioles begin a four-game series tonight at Guaranteed Rate Field, where they’re facing baseball’s worst team in the 15-35 White Sox.

Cedric Mullins has a hit in 20 of his 23 career games against the White Sox. His .356 average against them is the second-highest by any active player with a minimum 100 plate appearances, behind Aaron Judge’s .383, per STATS.

Grayson Rodriguez is making his eighth start of the season and second since his reinstatement from the injured list. He shut out Seattle on one hit over six innings on Saturday.

Rodriguez made two starts against the White Sox last season. He allowed four runs and six hits in five innings on April 16 in Chicago, his third major league outing, and blanked them on one hit over six innings Aug. 28 at Camden Yards.

Gavin Sheets hit a three-run homer in the first game and Jake Burger had a solo shot – both in the first inning.

Left-handed hitters have posted a .277 on-base percentage against Orioles pitching, among the all-time lowest in major league history, per STATS. The 2020 Dodgers held them to a .255 OBP, the 2022 Astros .272 and the 2019 Astros .275.

Those first two clubs won the World Series.

Right-hander Mike Clevinger is making his fourth start. He’s allowed seven earned runs (eight total) and 15 hits in 11 1/3 innings, with six walks and 10 strikeouts.

Clevinger is 4-1 with a 3.11 ERA and 1.301 WHIP in seven career starts against the Orioles.

Ryan O’Hearn is 2-for-12 with two doubles and six strikeouts against Clevinger. James McCann is 2-for-13 with six strikeouts.

The White Sox are in last place in the American League Central and their minus-107 run differential is the worst in the majors. The home record 10-14, but they’ve gone 5-21 on the road.

Chicago has scored 143 runs, the third-lowest total through any team’s first 50 games since 2000. A .198 average with runners in scoring position ranks last this season.

The Orioles won two of three against the White Sox in both Baltimore and Chicago last season. Their last four-game sweep in Chicago came in 1995.

Orioles and White Sox lineups for series opener
Means to IL, Heasley recalled

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