MINNEAPOLIS - It had to be troubling, concerning and maybe a bit scary at times as O’s first baseman Ryan Mountcastle dealt with the impact of vertigo and has not played in the majors since June 8. But he returned to the Orioles active roster today.
While he is not in the lineup, he’s ready to go, feels his swing is in fine shape and is excited to hopefully have this all over with. He said he didn’t have vertigo before this year but believes they got it under control so he can return today to the team.
“This feels like the longest I’ve ever gone without playing (in the majors),” said Mountcastle whose 20-day minor league rehab assignment had one day yet to go. “It wasn’t fun at all. Just happy to be back and feel like a normal human again.
“It was my first time. It hit me in waves. Took longer than I thought, but just happy to be back. Probably like a week or so ago, I felt good. They just wanted to take their time. Came up today and hopefully, I can come off the bench and get an at-bat or two. Feel good, ready to go.”
Mountcastle said this first became something significant for him when the Orioles played in Milwaukee June 6-8.
“In Milwaukee, I was getting really lightheaded, dizzy and nauseous. Played a couple of games there, playing through it. After the last game I said, ‘There’s something wrong.’ Just sort of figured it out and took it from there.
“I felt like the ball was pea size and was blowing by me for a couple of games there. I was like ‘This doesn’t feel right.’ And I let them know. It affected my performance for a couple of games but now I feel better and am seeing the ball better.”
And he now feels the medical people have a handle on it.
“Yeah. Yeah. I feel really good now and ready to play,” he said.
"Happy to see him today, he looks great," manager Brandon Hyde said. "We're happy to have him back. Another good player we have on our roster. The big thing is he feels a lot better and he feels good. There is an All-Star break coming up tomorrow and his rehab ends here today or tomorrow and we felt like today was the right day."
Hyde said the team felt terrible Mountcastle went through that and "did a great job of rallying around him and giving him the space and time he needed. That was a tough time. Wanted him to be right."
So what does Mountcastle's return mean for Ryan O'Hearn and his playing time?
"Not much," said Hyde. "Ryan has been swinging the bat extremely well and made a start against just about every right-handed starter so far. This just gives us another good player. Yeah, good problem to have. If O'Hearn keeps doing what he's doing, I'm not going to be taking him out."
Mountcastle hit just .222 with an OPS of .572 in 12 Triple-A games but started 0-for-14 and finished with four hits in his last three Tides games.
“Felt good. The first series I still felt a little weird, but last time at Durham felt a lot better,” he said.
Mountcastle was asked if this could flare up again.
“Hopefully not. Praying for the best and right now I feel good. Played a couple of games and felt perfectly fine.”
Hyde did not announce anything today about the Orioles' starting rotation coming out of the break. That news will not come out until sometime during the break.