Orioles updates on Mullins, Mountcastle and more

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Orioles manager Brandon Hyde isn’t certain when he can post a lineup with Cedric Mullins in center field and Ryan Mountcastle at first base or as designated hitter. He just knows that it’s getting closer.

That's good enough for now.

The duo is beginning an injury rehab assignment tonight with Triple-A Norfolk, which is playing in Nashville. Mullins is leading off and serving as DH, with Mountcastle right behind him in the order and starting at first base.

The rest of Norfolk’s lineup includes Colton Cowser in right field, followed by shortstop Jordan Westburg, left fielder Heston Kjerstad, second baseman Connor Norby, third baseman César Prieto, center fielder Hudson Haskin and catcher Maverick Handley.

Justin Armbruester, who joined Prieto from Double-A Bowie, is on the mound.

A prospect ranker’s delight.

Hyde is interested only in Mullins and Mountcastle at the moment. They were everyday players for him before Mullins strained his right groin on May 29 and Mountcastle went on the IL retroactive to June 10 with vertigo.

“Just hoping it goes well,” Hyde said. “Both playing tonight. We’re just going to reevaluate both those guys after every game. It’s going to be kind of a day-to-day thing with them, but yeah, it’s nice to see them out there and hopefully it goes well tonight for both of them.”

Mullins and Mountcastle aren’t necessarily on different timelines despite the gap in their placements on the injured list.

“It’s pretty much, when they get the at-bats and how they recover tomorrow and all those types of things,” Hyde said. “It’s just going to be, every day we’re going to check in and see where they’re at.”

Mullins might be ahead of schedule after suffering a Grade 2 strain. He pulled up short of first base while trying to beat out a ground ball and the organization feared the worst.

“When it first happened, yeah, definitely,” Hyde said. “But he’s been running extremely well down in Sarasota, and it could have been a lot worse. We caught a break there, and knock on wood, hopefully it goes well tonight.”

The Orioles are 10-7 without Mullins and own the third-best record in the American League. They keep finding ways to compensate and win games.

“So impressed,” Hyde said. “Aaron Hicks, Ryan O’Hearn, what they’ve done the last couple weeks, been a huge part of a lot of our wins and our offense, and Hicksy’s defense in center field. They’ve allowed us to kind of manage the time away from Cedric, who is a massive part of our team, and the year he was having. The way he was driving in runs, the Gold Glove defense he plays, just what he brings to the table on a nightly basis.

"Really happy with how our guys picked it up around him, picked up the pieces.”

Anthony Bemboom is back with the club, having a locker next to Adley Rutschman after the Orioles selected his contract this morning. José Godoy also has a locker after the Orioles optioned him, most likely to keep him on the taxi squad.

Bemboom recently got back to Norfolk after sustaining a concussion on a foul tip about 2 ½ weeks ago, being shut down and then beginning an injury rehab assignment with High-A Aberdeen.

“They just wanted to make sure I was good before I started baseball activities again and build back up,” said Bemboom, who was on the Orioles' Opening Day roster for the second straight year before James McCann was activated from the IL.

“I’m good to go, thankfully.”

McCann went on the IL Sunday with a sprained left ankle. Bemboom didn’t learn of the injury, or process how it might impact him, until later. 

“We were playing a game, so I didn’t honestly see it or hear about it until afterwards,” he said. “I was just worried about the game that we were playing at that moment, so I wasn’t too aware of the situation.”

The latest example of how baseball can spin your world. Going from a Triple-A assignment to the concussion injured list to the majors again.

“You’ve just got to be ready as soon as possible,” Bemboom said. “That was kind of my goal was to just get ready, back to neutral, back to 100 percent as fast as possible. Obviously, with the concussion, you want to be a little more cautious and careful, but once I didn’t have any symptoms or anything, then it was a matter of building back up, baseball activities. And I didn’t miss a ton of time. Thankfully, it was a little bit quicker buildup.”

Reliever Mychal Givens continues his rehab assignment Wednesday with Norfolk.

“The same with the other guys,” Hyde said. “We’re just kind of reevaluating after every outing.”

Bowie outfielder Toby Welk was reinstated from the injured list and released from his contract.

Welk, a 21st-round pick in the 2019 draft out of Penn St. Berks, batted .259/.336/.411 with 45 doubles, five triples, 22 home runs and 110 RBIs in parts of four seasons totaling 221 games.

O's game blog: The Tampa Bay series begins at the ...
Orioles and Rays lineups at Tropicana Field

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