Orioles pregame notes on Hays, Castillo trade, weather, Double-A moves and more

PITTSBURGH – Austin Hays wasn’t in the visiting clubhouse today during media access, and Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said the outfielder is “a little under the weather."

“Maybe the weather will warm him up,” Hyde joked, as snow flurries swirled around PNC Park.

“He’s just getting a little extra rest right now but he’ll be here at game time.”

Hays was 4-for-29 (.138) in spring training, when he came down with a stomach virus, and had two hits in 18 at-bats on the homestand. He’s struck out six times.

“He’s pressing a little bit,” Hyde said. “Had that one big hit (Saturday). When Haysie swings at strikes, good things happen. Right now it’s more approach-driven than anything else.”

Colton Cowser is starting again in left field.

Catcher David Bañuelos is on the taxi squad for the series. Michael Pérez was on the taxi squad during the six-game homestand.

The Orioles made a minor league trade this afternoon, sending infielder Diego Castillo to the Twins for cash considerations. Castillo was a non-roster invite to spring training, and he went 4-for-13 with Triple-A Norfolk.

Hyde is managing his first game in Pittsburgh. The 2020 series was canceled because of the pandemic, with travel restricted to the East Coast.

Players are wearing stocking caps during batting practice in an attempt to stay warm. A light snow is falling.

“There’s nothing really you can do,” Hyde said.

“I’ve been here in April before. This is about right. Let’s just hope we stay dry. I feel like every time I come here there’s some sort of rain delay.”

The Orioles are trying to win three straight series against the Pirates for the first time in franchise history. They’re also trying to win their first three series of the season for the third time this century, also doing it in 2009 and 2016.

Adley Rutschman hasn’t struck out through 25 plate appearances this season, the longest streak by an Orioles player to begin a season since Manny Machado in 2014 (first 28), according to STATS.

Also from STATS, Grayson Rodriguez has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 13 straight starts to tie for the longest streak by an Orioles pitcher age 24 or younger. He joins Storm Davis (1984), Jim Palmer (1969) and Dave McNally (1965-66).

Double-A Bowie infielders Max Wagner and Maxwell Costas were placed on the seven-day injured list.

Outfielder Billy Cook moves down from Triple-A Norfolk to Bowie after going 4-for-8. Pitchers Dan Hammer and Nick Richmond were placed on the development list.

The Pirates have started 6-1 or better for just the second time over the past 50 seasons, going 6-1 in 2018.

The Orioles and Ravens have combined to donate $10 million to the Baltimore Community Foundation’s Key Bridge Emergency Fund.

Per the news release, the fund was established “to provide ongoing support to the recovery and resilience efforts for families, port workers, first responders, small businesses and communities affected by the March 26 Key Bridge tragedy. This fund supports regional efforts to heal, respond and memorialize, in coordination with adjacent efforts with the Foundation’s strategic partners.”

“The resiliency of our city has once again been sorely tested,” Orioles owner David Rubenstein said in a statement. “Under the leadership of Governor Wes Moore, and in collaboration with the Ravens, the Orioles offer this contribution to support those who keep our city, our state, and our country in business.”

“Our heartfelt condolences are with the victims of this tragedy and their families,” Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said in a statement. “We are thankful to our first responders for their bravery and tireless work. The Ravens are honored to support the Francis Scott Key Bridge recovery efforts and affected Maryland families and businesses. We are confident that Baltimore and Maryland will keep displaying tremendous spirit and strength during this time of great need.”

Click here to make a donation to the relief efforts.

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