Notes on rotation, Bleier and Mullins (O’s lead 4-1)

Yesterday’s postponement due to inclement weather, the third for the Orioles this season, has pushed back the starters while keeping them in order.

Manager Brandon Hyde sees no reason to tamper with the rotation and leapfrog anyone.

Left-hander John Means opens tonight’s series against the Red Sox instead of closing out the Rays series yesterday. David Hess and Andrew Cashner will start the next two nights leading into Thursday’s off-day.

Bundy-Finish-White-sidebar.jpgDan Straily was supposed to pitch Wednesday, but he’s getting extra rest and taking the mound Friday for the series opener against the Angels that continues the homestand. Dylan Bundy is starting Saturday and Means Sunday.

The Red Sox are starting Josh Smith tonight, Hector Velázquez Tuesday and left-hander Chris Sale Wednesday before heading out of town.

The Orioles still don’t have an update on Nate Karns appointment today to receive a second opinion on his right forearm strain. It’s more likely to come on Tuesday.

Richard Bleier returned to Camden Yards today and said he’s headed to Single-A Frederick on Tuesday to begin his injury rehab assignment. Bleier is on the injured list retroactive to April 10 with left shoulder tendinitis.

“He’s going to be here for quite a bit. He’ll get a lot of his work done here,” Hyde said.

“That’s such a great thing about the affiliates being so close, to be able to keep a close eye on guys. Good to see Rich today and we’re happy with the progress he’s been making and how his rehab’s going.”

There isn’t a set number of relief appearances for Bleier to prove that he’s ready to come back to the Orioles. Bleier said earlier today that it probably would be more than five, with stops also coming at Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk.

“I think it’s all going to be up to him really and the training staff and how he recovers,” Hyde said. “I think whenever you have a rehab you kind of plan it out, but it’s never certain on what day he’s going to be back up here. It’s all about recovery and when he goes back to back, how he recovers from that, that type of thing.

“When Rich is ready he’ll be back up here. I just don’t think we have any set day for that to come.”

Hyde reads the daily reports on each affiliate and knows that Cedric Mullins has caught fire at Norfolk.

Mullins homered in back-to-back games from opposite sides of the plate and is batting .304/.396/.522 with two triples, two home runs, six RBIs, seven walks, 10 runs scored and four stolen bases in five attempts over 11 games with the Tides.

The Orioles optioned Mullins after he went 6-for-64 in 22 games.

“It sounds like he’s swinging the bat well from both sides,” Hyde said. “Love to see that continue. Good for Cedric. It’s not easy to have the month struggle he had here. Nice to see him bounce back and put up some good numbers down there.”

There isn’t a plan in place to return Mullins to the majors on a certain date. No promises were made before he left the club. It’s a fluid situation.

“It’s open-ended,” Hyde said. “We talked about some things that we saw up here and we’d like to see him improve on and it sounds like he’s doing those things, so it’s a good sign.”

Update: Jonathan Villar hit a grand slam in the second inning for a 4-0 lead.

Update II: Eduardo Núñez’s sacrifice fly in the fifth reduced the lead to 4-1.

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