Orioles pregame notes on expanding roster, closer situation, Hays, Hicks and more

Teams can expand their rosters by two players on Friday and the Orioles are meeting to review the options. Time is running out.

“We better be pretty close,” manager Brandon Hyde said this morning.

“We’re going to see how the roster looks after today. Things can change quickly. But we’re talking about it right now.”

The Orioles can find reinforcements on the injured list and in the minors. The task is more complicated than just choosing a couple names.

“There’s a lot of moving pieces right now,” Hyde said. “We’re kind of seeing how everything fits. The off-day tomorrow is a little bit helpful in figuring that out. We’re having those discussions now, every type of scenario that we feel like is going to help our club in September.”  

The Orioles don’t have any updates on closer Félix Bautista, who’s undergone more tests after injuring his right ulnar collateral ligament. Surgery would rule him out for 2024. But information isn't flowing at the moment.

“Maybe sometime later this week,” Hyde said.

Yennier Cano is the first choice to close, but he won’t be handed the title.

“It’s pretty much going to be by committee right now and then we’ll kind of see how it goes,” Hyde said.

Austin Hays is out of the lineup for the second time in three games, but he’s available off the bench. He slammed into the left field wall last night while making a tremendous catch on Luis Robert Jr.’s fly ball.

“He’s fine, just a day off today,” Hyde said.

Outfielder Aaron Hicks ran the bases full speed this morning as he nears a return from a lower-back strain. He’s also taking batting practice.

Hyde said the club hasn’t decided whether to send Hicks on a rehab assignment. In the meantime, they want him taking more high-velocity batting practice and seeing pitch mixes. See how he recovers.

“We're either going to do that or we're just going to kind of simulate some stuff and be ready to play,” Hyde said.

Hicks missed three weeks with a hamstring strain, returned Aug. 14 in San Diego, collected two hits and felt the back discomfort that shelved him again.

“I’m looking forward to getting him back,” Hyde said. “We’re in that time of year right now where guys are pretty banged up, beat up and need days off. To have a pro like Aaron and what he did for us when he was healthy, to get him back in the outfield mix, it’s going to be really impactful for us. So, he’s getting close.

“The veteran presence, the veteran leadership and the at-bats he takes. The ability to take a walk and the patient approach, but also the ability to go deep, get big hits. I’m excited to get him back.”

Outfielder Ryan McKenna has a career-high five stolen bases this season, three more than in 2022. He’s swiped three in his last two games.

“It's more of taking advantage of opportunities,” Hyde said. "I feel like teams have done a pretty good job, especially in the second half, of holding runners against us and knowing that we have some team speed and we're going to be aggressive. Teams have been aware of that and done a good job with limiting our stolen bases."

Cole Irvin, Kyle Bradish and Jack Flaherty are the listed starters for the series in Arizona that begins Friday night.

O's game blog: Going for a sweep to end a nine-gam...
Orioles and White Sox lineups to conclude series

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.masnsports.com/