Orioles pregame notes on Rodriguez, Means, Mountcastle and injury updates

Grayson Rodriguez is eligible to return from the injured list on Wednesday and he seems to be trending in the right direction.

Rodriguez said he threw about 30 pitches this morning in his latest bullpen session, about double his amount Wednesday in D.C.

“I felt great,” he said.

Rodriguez said he’ll probably throw another ‘pen in the next few days, and the Orioles can decide whether he should go on a brief rehab assignment.

The right-hander’s preference, of course, is to get back on the active roster.

The listed starters for the upcoming series against the Blue Jays are Corbin Burnes on Monday, Kyle Bradish on Tuesday and Cole Irvin on Wednesday. Toronto is starting José Berrios, Chris Bassitt and Yusei Kikuchi.

The Orioles are off Thursday before beginning a three-game home series against the Mariners.

The Orioles put Rodriguez on the 15-day IL on April 30 with inflammation in his right shoulder, which he viewed as a precautionary move because of some discomfort.

* John Means felt good throughout yesterday’s start against the Diamondbacks but wishes he could have gotten better results.

Means retired the first eight batters but allowed four runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings. He threw 89 pitches, the last resulting in Lourdes Gurriel’s RBI single and a 4-2 Diamondbacks lead.

“Obviously, it wasn’t very good,” he said. “Didn’t really help the bullpen out a whole lot but they came in and absolutely shoved. They have a really good team, so they really bailed me out.

“Just got to locate better. Got to command the ball better.”

Orioles relievers combined for 6 1/3 scoreless innings with only one hit allowed.

“They’re incredible,” Means said. “They’re one of the most underrated bullpens in the league. They go out there every night and just show that they’re one of the tops, for sure.”

Means is settling into his routine with two starts made since his reinstatement from the injured list.

“It’s just good to pitch, you know, and get that under your belt, get as many innings as you possibly can,” he said. “Just get on a roll here.”

His team has built some serious momentum with seven wins in the last eight games, nine in 11, 14 in 19 and 18 in 24.

* Ryan Mountcastle tripled yesterday into the 90-degree angle in left-center field, giving him one in 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024.

“Got it out of the way,” he said this morning. “One every year, baby. One every year.

“That one, I saw (Gurriel) messing around with it at the wall and I was like, I’ve got a really good chance of getting there, especially with two outs. I didn’t want to really push it because I feel like I’m definitely going to be safe. It’s very rare occurrence for me. My one a year.

“It happened early. Maybe I’ll get two this year.”

The corner is “triples alley,” Mountcastle said. Players don’t need to go to right-center or down the right-field line at Camden Yards.

“Once I saw him not cut it off, I was like, oh geez, here we go,” he said. “Turn on the gas.”

Mountcastle collected last year’s triple on May 12 against the Pirates, exactly one year ago today. He’s never had two doubles and a triple in the same game before yesterday.

“I think that’s pretty unusual,” he said. “It was a good day.”

* Austin Hays is starting in left field today at Double-A Bowie. He won't be reinstated from the injured list over the weekend.

Right-hander Keagan Gillies was activated from the seven-day injured list earlier today.

* Starter Bruce Zimmermann (right hamstring strain) and outfielder Hudson Haskin (concussion) are going on Triple-A Norfolk's injured list.

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