Orioles pregame notes on Hays, Mateo, Givens, Tate and Handley

Orioles outfielder Austin Hays has avoided the injured list after bruising his right hand last night while attempting a bunt in the third inning.

Hays came out of the game after flying out to deep left field, and X-rays didn’t reveal any fractures.

“Feels good, a lot better than last night,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “Pretty sore, a lot of bruising, so hopefully it’s just a few days.”

Shortstop Jorge Mateo is out of the lineup but available to play. Mateo recovered from the right hip soreness that forced him out of Wednesday’s game in D.C., and he scored from first base Sunday on Anthony Santander’s double to left field and homered last night into the home bullpen.

“He’s just coming off that hip and day game after a night game,” Hyde said. “A lot of games still coming up.”

The new taxi squad rule prohibits clubs from bringing other players on the road besides one catcher.

Terrin Vavra is starting in left field today after replacing Hays last night.

“I think he’s done a great job,” Hyde said. “Not easy to do early in your career to have to move all over the place. He’s been at third the other day when (Ramón) Urías got tossed, right, left, spring training second, a lot of ground balls at first. He’s done a great job. He’s filled in extremely well.

“It’s tough to have a lot of gloves when you don’t have a ton of experience in the big leagues, but Terrin’s always prepared and works his butt off pregame at every position, and he’s ready to go.”

Mychal Givens is throwing a live bullpen session Thursday at Double-A Bowie and could begin his injury rehab assignment Saturday with the Baysox.

Givens made a rare Camden Yards appearance this morning after staying back in Sarasota to rehab from a left knee injury.

“A couple days ago I threw a live, felt good,” Givens said. “It just wasn’t right there yet. But we’re in the right direction with the training staff and it’s been great things they’ve been doing to help me get back up here.

“One step at a time. Right now, on Thursday and we’ll see what the plan is for me.”

Givens said the biggest challenge has been the time spent away from the Orioles.

“That’s what I’m trying to do is get myself back healthy,” Givens said. “This is unfortunate because I’ve been healthy my whole career, so it sucks to not be with the team.

“It’s just something that happened. Right now, just trying to get it back to what it needs to be and be healthy on the field.”

A rare appearance on the injured list is a little more bearable with the Orioles 15-8 and in second place in the division, their seven-game winning streak ending last night, and the bullpen producing a 2.88 ERA that ranks third in the majors.

“The whole team is doing good. We’ve got to give everybody their credit,” he said.

“The offense is doing really, really good in big moments and doing quality at-bats, and the bullpen’s doing their job.”

Dillon Tate began is rehab assignment last night with High-A Aberdeen and allowed one run and two hits with two strikeouts in the fifth inning.

“Felt good,” he said. “It was good to be back out there and competing. So, yeah, just inching my way there.

“Make sure I feel good is the first priority, and then just go out there and compete, get my feet wet again, and understand what needs to be done.”

That includes knowing what pitch to throw in the right situations.

“I think that’s the biggest thing,” he said. “And executing.”

Tate is headed to Bowie for about four games and hopes to get on the active roster after making his recovery from a right elbow flexor strain. He was reminded last night how Single-A players approach at-bats compared to the higher levels.

“Yes, at one point,” Tate said, “and then I’m able to change the script and do what I need to do.”

Jackson Holliday played shortstop last night after his promotion from Single-A Delmarva. He walked twice in five plate appearances.

“It’s tough to see him from a distance being all the way out in the bullpen,” Tate said, “but that kid’s fun. He’s doing to go out and do what he does and excel.”

Catcher Maverick Handley has been in Baltimore the past two days as the home taxi squad catcher, his first chance after Anthony Bemboom and Mark Kolozsvary took their turns, and he’s flying to Detroit after today’s game for his first road trip.

The excitement shows on his face.

“I mean, it’s pretty cool,” he said. “I was in big league spring training, so I feel like I really developed relationships here, so I come up here the first time and all the guys are pumped to see me, which, it’s a really good feeling when you have relationships here.

“The vibes are awesome. You can really tell the team is close and there are really good relationships here. The facilities are amazing. I took on-field BP early, the first time hitting here, and seeing the ball fly, it’s really nice. Hopefully, one day when I make my debut, it’s not going to be as overwhelming because I’ve got this time to enjoy it.”

Handley, a sixth round pick in 2019, is learning is way around Camden Yards, but there’s the expected moments of confusion.

“I’m getting turned around in this maze,” he said, smiling. “Showing up here was a freakin’ disaster. But it’s been fun, it feels really big league. This is The Show. It’s really cool. Not hate it. And my first road trip.

“I’m just happy I packed a button-up. I packed for six days in Charlotte, not Detroit. But yeah, I’m looking forward to it.”

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