Orioles recall Watkins and Araúz

Spenser Watkins throwing gray

CHICAGO – Spenser Watkins is back in the rotation and reliever Marcos Diplán is optioned without pitching yesterday.

The Orioles also recalled infielder Jonathan Araúz from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned infielder Rylan Bannon, who didn’t appear in a game in his second stint with the team.

Watkins has been recalled as Kyle Bradish’s replacement. Bradish went on the 15-day injured list yesterday with right shoulder inflammation.

The Orioles simply had to activate Watkins from the taxi squad.

Watkins hasn’t started for the Orioles since failing to retire any of three Tampa Bay batters on May 22 and leaving with a bruised right elbow – the product of a line drive from Ji-Man Choi.

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Hays' performance soaring as salary set to rise

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CHICAGO – Austin Hays is afraid of heights. He’s tried to overcome it, much to his credit, but prefers his feet planted on the grass unless he’s scaling an outfield fence in pursuit of a fly ball.

The phobia dates back to his childhood, as it often does.

“My dad’s a general contractor, chief inspector, so he goes up on scaffolds for a living and inspects balconies and a lot of high-rise buildings,” Hays said. “Just the thought of that when I was younger was enough to bother me, just thinking about seeing him up on a scaffold. He’s 30 stories in the air. That alone, me standing on the ground, made my stomach churn.

“Other kids would love to go on roller coasters, my friends would go on roller coasters, so I went on one and it was just, I got off it and my arms were bruised from me squeezing the protector so hard.”

Hays tried to tackle his fears during his senior year of high school while also impressing his future wife, Samantha. A noble gesture that backfired like an old car.

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Orioles stay calm and keep winning (updated)

baker exits @CWS gray

CHICAGO – The Orioles haven’t won as many games as they’ve lost, but they don’t back down, whether it’s from the adversity brought upon them by another injury that wrecks the rotation, or a 99 mph fastball in the ribs and the aggression from dugouts and bullpens emptying onto the field.

Jorge Mateo was drilled on the left side in the second inning tonight by White Sox starter Michael Kopech, dropped his bat and began taking a wide path toward first base. Veering a little closer to the mound with each slow step. Bringing tempers closer to the boiling point.

They exchanged words, but not punches, as the usual scrum formed on the grass. Play resumed after both benches were warned, angering manager Brandon Hyde, and the Orioles held the White Sox to one hit and retired the last 19 batters in a 4-1 win at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Perhaps this was carryover from Dean Kremer nailing Josh Harrison last night on the right triceps. Or just a pitch that got away from Kopech. Mateo’s reaction after absorbing the blow set off both teams, with assistant pitching coach Darren Holmes holding back Rougned Odor as the Orioles second baseman yelled and gestured.

"He gets hit in the back after squaring to bunt and didn't like it," Hyde said. "I don't know the exchange, honestly. I need to look at the replay, what Jorgie did. But it's one of those competitive things that happens and we moved on pretty quickly.

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Notes on Bradish, Watkins, Diplán and Odor

Bradish walks toronto

CHICAGO – Kyle Bradish began feeling some discomfort in his right shoulder a few days ago after his bullpen session, and the Orioles had to put him on the 15-day injured list this afternoon, with fingers crossed that it isn’t an extended absence.

Bradish has made 10 starts in his first major league season and posted a 7.38 ERA and 1.770 WHIP. He hasn’t finished five innings in his last five outings, unable to recapture the form that enabled him to strike out 11 batters with no walks in seven innings in St. Louis.

“We’re doing this out of precaution,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We’re hoping it’s just going to be a couple weeks, but he does have some fatigue in there. We’ll take a couple weeks to get some treatment, be with Brian (Ebel) and the guys in the training room, and hopefully he just misses a couple weeks.”

The reasons behind Bradish’s shoulder inflammation aren’t clear. Hyde can’t blame the high-stress innings in the majors or any other excuse.

“Tough to speculate,” Hyde said. “I think there’s a lot of things going on around the league, but the intensity level up here is definitely different. It’s hard to put my finger on why his shoulder is a little bit sore. But hopefully it’s just a little bit of a hiccup and he’s back in a couple weeks.”

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Orioles and White Sox lineups

Orioles and White Sox lineups

CHICAGO – Adley Rutschman is catching Austin Voth tonight, as the Orioles plan on a bullpen game after putting Kyle Bradish on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation.

Rutschman is slashing .326/.370/.651 (14-for-43) with eight doubles, two home runs, seven RBIs, seven runs scored and three walks over his last 12 games. He’s the fourth player in Orioles history with at least 12 extra-base hits in his first 27 career games, joining Trey Mancini (15), Curt Blefary (14) and Manny Machado (12).

Tyler Nevin is the third baseman again tonight. Richie Martin is the second baseman, with Rougned Odor day-to-day with back soreness.

Jorge López hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 13 appearances covering 16 innings. He owns a 35 1/3-inning homerless streak since Sept 6, 2021, and is the only pitcher in the majors with at least 35 innings this season and no home runs.

Félix Bautista hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 16 appearances over 14 2/3 innings.

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Orioles place Bradish on injured list

Bradish pitch white

CHICAGO – The Orioles placed rookie starter Kyle Bradish on the 15-day injured list today and recalled reliever Marcos Diplán from Triple-A Norfolk.

The move is retroactive to Tuesday.

Bradish was scheduled to start tonight and then pushed back to Saturday. Now he’s off the active roster after posting a 7.38 ERA and 1.770 WHIP in 10 games.

The last start against the Rays ended with Bradish allowing six runs and a career-high 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings. He hasn’t completed five innings in his last five outings.

The rotation already underwent a change last week with Bruce Zimmermann optioned to Norfolk. A starter is needed for Saturday and Spenser Watkins is a logical choice because he’s on the taxi squad and threw only one inning Wednesday in Lehigh Valley to keep him available.

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This, that and the other

Voth pitching gray

CHICAGO – The identity of Saturday’s starter wasn’t expected to be revealed until that morning. The way it’s happened with the Orioles in the past. Everyone loves tradition.

Manager Brandon Hyde surprised the media late last night by breaking his own news. Rookie Kyle Bradish is pushed back to Saturday. Austin Voth is leading another bullpen game tonight.

Hyde wasn’t ready to commit yesterday afternoon until checking the condition of his bullpen. Voth didn’t pitch. He remained in play.

The taxi squad figured to offer a few hints. The Orioles will have one tonight. But they don’t seem interested in making a roster move.

There appeared to be three possibilities, including Voth, who made an emergency start Sunday against the Rays after Jordan Lyles was scratched with a stomach virus. He responded with 2 2/3 scoreless innings.

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Kremer stays on scoreless roll, Rutschman drives in three runs and O's win 4-0 (updated)

Dean Kremer throws gray

CHICAGO – Where starts used to get away from Dean Kremer, they now remain under his control.

It’s such a startling change, the aggression, command and confidence thrusting him back into discussions about the future of the Orioles rotation.

Kremer followed his six scoreless innings in his last start with 5 2/3 tonight, Adley Rutschman hit his second major league home run and the Orioles began a four-game series against the White Sox with a 4-0 win.

Rutschman gave the Orioles a 2-0 lead in the fourth when he followed Ryan Mountcastle’s second double of the night with a 402-foot shot to right field off Johnny Cueto, the ball landing far beyond the visiting bullpen.

Reliever Reynaldo López replaced Cueto with runners on the corners in the sixth and Rutschman doubled for a career-high three RBIs. Ten of his last 14 hits since June 10 have gone for extra bases.

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Notes on Odor, Watkins, Urías, Bannon and more

Rylan Bannon kneel BP

CHICAGO – Rougned Odor is out of tonight’s lineup with some stiffness in his back. He could be available off the bench.

Odor pinch-hit for Richie Martin last night and struck out. He felt the discomfort on one swing and dropped to his knee.

Martin is starting tonight at second base.

Odor normally would be playing against White Sox right-hander Johnny Cueto.

Spenser Watkins remains available to start Saturday afternoon after working only one inning in last night’s start for Triple-A Norfolk. Watkins threw 10 pitches.

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Orioles and White Sox lineups

Richie Martin Austin Hays five gray

CHICAGO – Richie Martin is starting at second base and Rougned Odor is on the bench for tonight’s series opener against the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Odor usually starts against right-handers, and the White Sox are sending Johnny Cueto to the mound.

Tyler Nevin is starting at third base. Anthony Santander is in left field and Austin Hays is in right after hitting for the cycle last night.

Hays leads the Orioles in hits (71), extra-base hits (27), total bases (119), batting average (.287), slugging percentage (.482), OPS (.829), RBIs (40) and runs scored (37), and he’s tied with Cedric Mullins for the lead in doubles with 16.  

For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Trey Mancini DH
Anthony Santander LF
Austin Hays RF
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Adley Rutschman C
Tyler Nevin 3B
Jorge Mateo SS
Richie Martin 2B

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Orioles trade Dorrian to Brewers

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CHICAGO – The infield depth at the higher levels of the minor league system cost Patrick Dorrian a place in the Orioles organization.

Dorrian, on Triple-A Norfolk’s roster, was traded to the Brewers this afternoon for cash considerations.

The Orioles acquired Dorrian from the Pirates on June 26, 2019 to complete the May 27 trade of pitcher Yefry Ramirez.

Dorrian, who turns 26 on Sunday, batted .161/.256/.269 with seven doubles and three home runs in 46 games with Norfolk. He was sent down briefly to Double-A Bowie, went 0-for-4, and returned to the Tides.

The 2021 season got Dorrian noticed after he collected 21 doubles, 22 home runs and 67 RBIs and posted a .362 on-base percentage in 112 games with the Baysox. But prospects Gunnar Henderson and Jordan Westburg have moved up to Norfolk, Terrin Vavra returned from the injured list, and infielder Jonathan Araúz was optioned to the Tides after the Orioles claimed him off waivers from the Red Sox.

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Britton's turn to rotate Henderson and Westburg at shortstop

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Having two shortstop prospects on the same roster and in the same lineup requires one consistent plan on how to handle their development.

Manager Kyle Moore experienced it with Double-A Bowie. Buck Britton is doing the same at Triple-A Norfolk.

Britton doesn’t have Joey Ortiz and Adam Hall to consider, but there’s still a pleasant excess.

Gunnar Henderson started at shortstop Tuesday night in Lehigh Valley and Jordan Westburg was his double play partner at second base. Last night’s lineup had Henderson at short again but Westburg switching to third base.

The Orioles have to make it work when pairing Henderson, the No. 3 prospect in the system, with Westburg, who’s sixth, according to MLBPipeline.com.

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Hays hits for cycle in 7-0, six-inning win (updated)

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Rain began falling again tonight in the bottom of the sixth inning, threatening to form more puddles on the track and bring a second delay. Conditions that normally aren’t ideal for cycling. But in the baseball sense, they worked just fine for Orioles outfielder Austin Hays.

Hays lined a double into left-center field off Nationals reliever Steve Cishek to become the sixth Orioles player to hit for the cycle and the first since Jonathan Villar in 2019.

Two runs scored on the play, and Hays touched the plate on Trey Mancini’s two-run shot to left field.

Tyler Nevin raced home on Hays’ double with a big smile on his face. He knew.

Hays reached second base, raised both arms and looked up as the rain pelted his face, smiled and did the binoculars gesture to the dugout. He knew.

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Hyde on rotation, Zimmermann, Urías, Mullins and mustaches

Bruce Zimmermann Black

The Orioles are listing three of their four starters for the upcoming series in Chicago. Saturday afternoon remains wide open and is largely dependent on how manager Brandon Hyde uses his bullpen.

Austin Voth could get the ball again after starting Sunday against the Rays as a last-minute replacement for Jordan Lyles, who was scratched due to a stomach virus. Voth threw 41 pitches in 2 2/3 scoreless innings and could be stretched out for a longer outing.

“Voth made that spot start for us the other day and did a great job,” Hyde said today. “He is a possibility, but I might use him Thursday or Friday, also, and then he’s not a possibility. We’re going to kind of wait until last minute on this one and go from there.”

Spenser Watkins is starting tonight for Triple-A Norfolk but is expected to be removed early, keeping him as an option for Saturday. Denyi Reyes is the third possibility.

Watkins may go only one inning tonight.

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Orioles lineup vs. Nationals

Orioles lineup vs. Nationals

Cedric Mullins is out of the lineup tonight as the Orioles conclude their two-game series against the Nationals and prepare for their next road trip.

Austin Hays is in center field and leading off. Trey Mancini is in right field and Anthony Santander is starting in left.

Adley Rutschman is the designated hitter against Washington left-hander Patrick Corbin.

Rutschman has reached base in nine of his last 10 games since June 10, slashing .306/.359/.556 (11-for-36) with six doubles, a home run, four RBIs, three walks and six runs scored in that span.

Tyler Nevin is playing third base and Richie Martin is at second.

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Hays on All-Star balloting and his first priority

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Austin Hays isn’t tracking the All-Star voting. He didn’t know that the first updates became available yesterday, or that he sat 19th among outfielders in the American League.

The shoulders didn’t shrug, but his enthusiasm level was fairly low.

Hays would be honored to represent the Orioles at Dodger Stadium. He’s just preoccupied with trying to help them win the games that count.

“I hadn’t seen anything about it,” he said. “I’m just showing up, trying to play every day. I think we’ve got, what, three weeks until All-Star break? So, that’s a lot of games, a lot of baseball left. A lot can happen, a lot of numbers can change in that amount of time. I’ll just focus on that once it gets here.”

Hays, a third-round draft pick in 2016 out of Jacksonville University, received 128,430 votes by yesterday’s count. The Yankees' Aaron Judge led every player in the majors with 1,512,368.

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Lyles provides length but lackluster offense leads to loss (updated)

Lyles pitching white

The stomach bug that knocked down Jordan Lyles Sunday didn’t keep the veteran on his back. Lyles spoke with manager Brandon Hyde the following day, reporting that he felt much better, and showed up this morning ready to pitch.

Hyde could have given Lyles a little more recovery time, but he decided it would really benefit Tyler Wells to get an extra day of rest.

That’s how Hyde settled on the order of his rotation for the Nationals series, sending Lyles to the mound tonight with the Orioles trying to post their fifth win in seven games.

Lyles completed six innings for the first time in five starts and turned in 6 1/3 on 92 pitches. He surrendered only two runs, the offense produced fewer, and the Nationals won 3-0 before an announced crowd of 15,197 at Camden Yards.

The Orioles (30-39) failed again to creep within seven games of .500 for the first time since May 23.

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Notes on Bannon, Mancini, Urías and more

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Rylan Bannon checked all the boxes for the Orioles when they searched for a position player to insert into their active roster after optioning pitcher Mike Baumann over the weekend.

“There’s a lot of reasons,” manager Brandon Hyde said today. “One, he’s on the 40-man. An extra infielder. We’re feeling pretty comfortable where we are outfield-wise. We just wanted to add an extra infielder in case of something happening.

“Rylan’s been showing some recent power there in Norfolk, swung the bat fairly well, and gives us a bat off the bench.”

Bannon led the International League in slugging percentage (.906) and OPS (1.424) last week. He homered in three of his last six games.

Today marks Bannon’s second tour with the Orioles, who recalled him in St. Louis. He didn’t know whether they’d bring him back this week.

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Orioles lineup vs. Nationals

Orioles lineup vs. Nationals

Trey Mancini is back in the Orioles’ lineup tonight as the designated hitter for the series opener against the Nationals at Camden Yards.

Mancini didn’t play Sunday against the Rays due to some lingering soreness in his right hand.

Adley Rutschman is catching and batting sixth. Tyler Nevin is the third baseman.

Rougned Odor is starting at second base, as he usually does against a right-hander.

Rylan Bannon, recalled today from Triple-A Norfolk, is counted among the four reserves. Bannon led the International League in slugging (.906) and OPS (1.424) last week.

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Orioles recall Bannon, starting Lyles tonight

Bannon throw black

The Orioles have recalled infielder Rylan Bannon from Triple-A Norfolk to expand their bench to four players for tonight’s series opener against the Nationals at Camden Yards.

Bannon made his major league debut while the Orioles were in St. Louis and went 2-for-14 in four games before they optioned him. He was batting .232/.358/.416 in 221 plate appearances with the Tides and homered in three of his last six games, also driving in eight runs.

Acquired from the Dodgers in the 2018 Manny Machado trade, Bannon has posted a .450 on-base percentage and .578 slugging percentage this month.

Jordan Lyles has been cleared to make tonight’s start after a stomach virus forced him to miss Sunday’s game against the Rays.

Lyles will attempt to complete the sixth inning for the first time in five starts. He’s made 11 career appearances against the Nationals, including three starts, and registered a 6.35 ERA and 1.412 WHIP in 28 1/3 innings.

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