CHICAGO – Orioles rookie Kyle Bradish is optimistic that he can pitch again after his 15 days expire on the injured list. Manager Brandon Hyde thinks it will be close to the date, if not hitting it exactly.
Bradish is eligible to return on July 6. For now, he’s shut down with inflammation in his right shoulder.
“I’d say Monday on the off day, it kind of started to get a little tight,” he said today. “And then Tuesday I woke up and then threw a bullpen, and it didn’t get better from there. Right now it’s feeling good. We’re on some treatment and some other stuff, and it’s feeling good.”
Which leads Bradish to believe that he can jump back into the rotation when rules allow it.
“Yeah, no doubt,” he said.
"I think things are progressing that way," Hyde said. "You never know until you get close. We've got to get him on the mound first, he's got to go through a whole throwing progression. I think if everything works out perfectly, it's going to be around the 15 days. We'll schedule his throwing to a point where he'll start either the 15th or a short time after."
Bradish has registered a 7.38 ERA and 1.770 WHIP in 10 starts. The decline began after his 11-strikeout performance over seven innings in St. Louis, and he’s failed to complete five innings in his last five appearances.
The shoulder isn’t to blame, he said.
“No, I don’t think so,” he said. “Guys rarely pitch at 100 percent every week, but I don’t think the struggles have anything to do with that.”
Bradish does concede that major league innings are more intense, which Hyde noted earlier.
“A lot more,” Bradish said.
“I’d say my pitches per inning are a little higher up here, just not being very efficient, so that adds stress,” Bradish said. “And just the whole aspect of being in the big leagues adds more stress.”
Rougned Odor isn’t in the lineup again due to soreness in his back, keeping him day-to-day, but Trey Mancini remains in it after being hit yesterday on the left hand.
“(Mancini is) better today,” Hyde said. “Still a little bit sore. He’s got two sore hands now. But he feels better and he wants to play.”
Reliever Beau Sulser is on the taxi squad. He arrived this morning.
The Orioles are attempting to get within four games of .500, a mark that is important to them but no an obsession.
“I think where we are, where we started this year, what we’ve been through, that would be a great accomplishment,” Hyde said. “I think that our team is playing competitively, I like the confidence in how we’re playing. We are in one game mode, so I don’t want to look too far ahead and try to reach an end number right now.”
“I just want to continue to play the way we’re playing. If we do that, good things will happen.”
The clubhouse always has been relaxed and positive, but it naturally increases with success. The favorable qualities are illuminated.
“Whenever you’re playing better and you’re winning games, it’s easy to have a good clubhouse atmosphere,” Hyde said. “We already had a good one, and I’ve said it a lot of times. For three years, you would walk into our clubhouse and not know our team was struggling the way it had so much. I think that’s a testament to our coaches and people in there for keeping the best attitude possible and trying to be as consistent as possible. But now we’re playing better this year and so that improves.”
“We have some really good veteran guys that have been extremely helpful with that. It’s all about winning and not settling, and continue to encourage others, so I really like the vibe in our clubhouse.”
A winning streak and clearer visibility to .500 is like a reward after the losses and other assorted challenges through the rebuild.
“It’s been really hard,” Hyde said. “A lot of these guys have been through some really tough times, and you want to see them have success and you want them to feel success. There’s only a few guys in our clubhouse who have ever won in the big leagues, and until you’re here, you don’t understand how hard it is.”
“It’s hard enough to be here and it’s really hard to lose. I give our guys a ton of credit for keeping their head up, for staying driven, for playing their butts off every day like they have for me the last few years. I think you’re starting to see guys improve because of it.”