Karns on his “two-day breather,” Means on last night’s start

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Nate Karns is scheduled to throw a bullpen session this morning in Sarasota and says that he anticipates getting “back in line” after skipping last night’s start in Tampa.

Karns was scratched from his assignment against the Yankees due to some soreness in his right arm that he downplayed earlier today. He hadn’t pitched since going 1 2/3 innings Monday against the Twins.

“It’s just one of those things like early in camp, trying to get your feet under you as far as throwing and all that,” he said. “I didn’t bounce back as well as I would have liked to after throwing almost 50 pitches that first time. I think it was just getting caught up in the volume and just being cautious on the front end.

Karns-Throws-Royals-Sidebar.jpg“Talked to them and they’re like, ‘If you feel like you didn’t quite recover as well as you wanted to, there’s no sense in throwing you back out there in a high-level situation and trying to just get through it in a sense. So it’s more about quality than quantity at this point. We want to get myself back in a good zone and then get back out there.

“Basically, it was just like a two-day breather, really.”

Karns could be slotted back into the spring rotation Wednesday afternoon in Port Charlotte, since the Orioles haven’t listed a starter to face the Rays. Or he could be held back until later in the week.

The Orioles aren’t going to rush him back after he missed the entire 2018 season with an elbow injury.

“Bullpen today,” he said, “and figure out how that works out in the schedule and get plugged back in.”

Left-hander John Means was at his locker this morning after a late return to Sarasota following his start against the Yankees in Tampa, where he tossed two scoreless and hitless innings. Talk about a quick turnaround.

Means walked one batter and struck out two, an impressive reversal from Tuesday’s debut outing in relief against the Rays, when he was charged with three runs in one-third of an inning.

The weather and the game turned nasty at the same time.

“It’s nice to get some good numbers,” Means said. “My last outing didn’t go so well in the box score, but I did feel good last outing and I felt good again last night, so it’s nice to get some good results.”

Means didn’t see much of a difference in the way he pitched beyond the statistics.

“I felt good both nights,” he said. “I felt like all my stuff was doing what it was supposed to do and I felt like I was attacking hitters and pounding the zone.”

Last night’s opposing lineup was much more dangerous, with Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sánchez, Luke Voit, Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu and Brett Gardner.

Hicks drew a leadoff walk in the first, but Means retired the next three batters on a line drive, ground ball and strikeout. LeMahieu struck out in the second after Renato Núñez’s throwing error.

“It looked like they almost had their opening day lineup,” Means said. “I knew that was going to be a fun time. It was good to get some real feedback with the second-best lineup in the league, probably.”

Upcoming Orioles starters are Andrew Cashner on Sunday against the Tigers in Sarasota, Dylan Bundy on Monday against the Twins in Fort Myers and Alex Cobb on Tuesday against the Pirates in Sarasota. Cashner is making his spring debut.

Relievers behind Mike Wright today include Yefry Ramirez, Paul Fry and Evan Phillips.

Relievers behind Cashner on Sunday include Dillon Tate, Gabriel Ynoa, Pedro Araujo, Cody Carroll, Branden Kline and Tanner Scott.

The Tigers are starting left-hander Matthew Boyd on Sunday, the Twins are starting Kyle Gibson on Monday and the Pirates are starting Chris Archer on Tuesday.

Today’s travel roster includes pitchers Zach Muckenhirn, Taylor Grover, Tyler Erwin, Jay Flaa and Omar Bencomo, infielders Mason McCoy and J.C. Escarra and outfielder Zach Jarrett from minor league camp.

Other non-starters on the trip include catchers Martin Cervenka and Cael Brockmeyer, infielders Ryan Mountcastle, Christopher Bostick, Jack Reinheimer and Zach Vincej and outfielders DJ Stewart, Mike Yastrzemski, Ryan McKenna and Yusniel Diaz.

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