Urías improving as Orioles delay roster decision

CHICAGO – Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said infielder Ramón Urías is much better today after being hit on the left side of his head yesterday by a 96.2 mph sinker.

Urías is in concussion protocol, but the club is waiting on a roster decision.

“It’s a head contusion,” Hyde said. “We’re still doing some further testing, but woke up feeling a lot better, and we feel great about that.”

The ball nailed Urías behind the ear and sent him sprawling to the dirt. He was able to walk off the field under his own power with Hyde and assistant athletic trainer Mark Shires.

“He’s got a pretty big bruise and welt,” Hyde said.

The Orioles are off Monday and can use the extra time to reevaluate Urías. They're going with a 25-man roster today.

“I have no idea,” Hyde said of Urías’ possible status for the first game in D.C. “He’s still going through some testing.”

Infielder Joey Ortiz was removed from Triple-A Norfolk’s lineup last night as a precaution. Hyde didn’t want to comment on Ortiz, saying, “I’m not going to get into that.”

Left-hander Keegan Akin is expected to be activated Tuesday from the paternity list. The Orioles recalled Yennier Cano as Akin's replacement and he’s responded with 2 2/3 scoreless and hitless innings, walking none and striking out three.

“He’s throwing the ball great,” Hyde said. “I didn’t want to pitch him yesterday after going 1 2/3 the day before. He was lights out again yesterday. That’s what we need. We need bullpen guys to step up the way he has been, and pitching in huge spots right away against the toughest part of their order, also.

“You see the swings that the sinker gets when it’s on the plate. Showed a good slider a little bit, too. That’s been a pleasant part of this series for sure is what he’s done on the mound.”

Hyde said he wasn’t going to use Félix Bautista yesterday for a third consecutive day. He wants to avoid Cano this afternoon.

Spenser Watkins and Austin Voth are available for multiple innings.

“(Mike) Baumann didn’t throw yesterday,” Hyde said.

“There’s obviously a lot of guys I’d like to stay away from,” Hyde said, “but we’ll see how it goes.”

Grayson Rodriguez should have a calmer start today after debuting in his home state of Texas and then pitching at Camden Yards. The weather is the only additional factor, with rain falling and the temperatures plummeting.

“I’m hoping that he gets a little more comfortable every time out,” Hyde said. “He’s going to be pitching in maybe some tough conditions today. It looks a little wet and cold out there right now. But I think every start he makes is another step he’s going to take in his rookie year, and we’ll try to win a series today.”

The Nationals are starting Josiah Gray Tuesday and MacKenzie Gore Wednesday versus the Orioles in D.C. The Orioles are starting Dean Kremer Tuesday and list Wednesday as TBA, but Kyle Bradish is eligible to return from the injured list.

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