Orioles and Royals lineups (and notes)

Robinson Chirinos swing gray

The Orioles begin a four-game series in Kansas City tonight with Jordan Lyles on the mound after last night’s rainout adjusted his turn.

Lyles has a 4.50 ERA and 1.484 WHIP in 11 starts. He faced the Royals in Game 1 of a May 8 doubleheader and allowed two earned runs (four total) in a season-high 7 1/3 innings.

Tonight’s game won’t provide a matchup of sorts between the top two draft picks in 2019 - Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman and Royals infielder Bobby Witt Jr. A nice sidebar that’s put on hold until Friday.

Robinson Chirinos is behind the plate tonight. Rutschman is going to catch at least two games in the series and likely serve as designated hitter in another. He’s probably going to catch in three of the four games in Toronto, including Monday’s opener.

Rutschman already was going to sit tonight, and the postponement didn’t change the lineup pattern established days ago. Manager Brandon Hyde is easing him into the major league workload after the No. 1 prospect strained his right triceps at the spring training complex.

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Rutschman showing enthusiasm behind the plate and patience at it

Adley Rutschman Orange Holding bat

BOSTON - Kyle Bradish threw 40 pitches last night in a four-run first inning, made a slow walk toward the dugout and was intercepted like a tipped pass.

Catcher Adley Rutschman doesn’t pick six. He does it with everyone.

Rutschman, also a rookie who arrived in the majors after Bradish, maintained his routine of meeting up near the baseline. The talk is brief. Usually a tap on the shoulder or chest. Can be encouragement or consolation.

Bradish accepted a fist-bump and kept moving, his frustration apparent over a start that didn’t allow for a second on-field interaction.

Manager Brandon Hyde removed Bradish with two outs in the second inning. Beau Sulser, making his Orioles’ debut, stranded two runners and got the full Rutschman treatment – his catcher in his ear and they walked together.  

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Watkins on injury, Sulser on joining Orioles and more

Watkins on injury, Sulser on joining Orioles and more

NEW YORK – Spenser Watkins is on the 15-day injured list with a bruise at the top of his right forearm, forcing a weekend change in the Orioles rotation.

Manager Brandon Hyde needs two starters for Saturday’s doubleheader in Boston. Watkins no longer is an option for either game.

“It’s pretty sore,” said Watkins, who faced only three batters and left after Ji-Man Choi’s line drive struck his arm. “We’ve got a great training staff here that put me through the ringer so far, so it’s feeling a little bit better but still stiff, as you would assume.

“I didn’t really know what the move was going to be. They didn’t really give an inclination one way or the other. But they’re going to make the best move for the team and go from there.”

The Orioles don’t know if Watkins will be ready after 15 days.

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Orioles put Watkins on IL and recall Diplán, Gillaspie and Sulser

Spenser Watkins hurt white

NEW YORK – The Orioles are making massive changes to their pitching staff heading into tonight’s series opener at Yankee Stadium.

Right-handers Marcos Diplán, Logan Gillaspie and Beau Sulser have been recalled from Triple-A Norfolk, with pitcher Mike Baumann and infielder Tyler Nevin optioned after yesterday’s game and Spenser Watkins placed on the 15-day injured list with a right elbow contusion.

Watkins was hit by a 106 mph line drive off Ji-Man Choi’s bat in the first inning of yesterday’s game.

Gillaspie is able to return early from the minors because he’s replacing an injured player. He’s tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings in two appearances.

Sulser, wearing No. 67, made his major league debut this season with the Pirates and appeared in four games before the Orioles claimed him off waivers May 14. He’s the brother of former Orioles reliever Cole Sulser.

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Orioles DFA Paul Fry and claim Beau Sulser

Paul Fry Gray

Left-hander Paul Fry might not make it back to Baltimore.

The Orioles designated Fry for assignment this afternoon and claimed right-hander Beau Sulser off waivers from the Pirates.

Sulser has three minor league options, and he’s reporting to Triple-A Norfolk.

Fry, 29, allowed eight earned runs and nine total with seven walks in 12 innings with the Orioles, and they optioned him Thursday morning while recalling infielder Rylan Bannon and closing out their series in St. Louis. He was much more effective in May with no runs allowed and only two hits in five innings, but it didn't save his job.

Manager Brandon Hyde was using Fry in lower leverage situations and getting better results.

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Mateo making strides at short, O's juggle roster amidst injuries

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Jorge Mateo bounced around for his entire career. 

In 2016, Mateo was ranked the 30th best prospect in baseball as a member of the New York Yankees organization. The speedster was traded to Oakland in 2017, and was traded once again to San Diego in 2020. 

That year, the shortstop finally made his debut for the Padres. Except, that season, he didn’t play a single game at the position he came up playing through the minor leagues. Mateo played seven games in the outfield, five games at second base, and spent four games as a designated hitter. 

The 2021 season was no different. Mateo spent most of his time in center field for the Padres, and upon being claimed by the Orioles, played mostly second base.

This year, however, Mateo finally got his chance. The pieces fell into place for Mateo to be an every day starter at just one position; shorstop. And so far, the 26-year-old has taken full advantage of that opportunity. 

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