Mason Williams is unable to put much weight on his left leg today after slamming into the fence last night at full speed while chasing Cavan Biggio’s triple in front of the bullpen area.
Williams said today that he didn’t sustain a concussion, but the knee is wrapped and he has a deep bruise that brings uncertainty to his availability over the last 11 games.
“My head’s fine,” he said. “No concussion or anything like that, so that’s fine. I just feel like I ran into a wall.”
Maybe it’s a product of adjusting to the different ballparks. Williams played with Triple-A Norfolk this season and has navigated the outfields this month at Camden Yards, Tropicana Field and Comerica Park.
“Off the bat I’m just trying to catch the ball,” he said. “I could have caught that ball. I just ran out of room and the wall won.”
Williams is hopeful that he’ll be able to play again before the final game. He’s appeared in 11 since the Orioles selected his contract from Norfolk and is 8-for-30 with a double and two RBIs.
“A bad bone bruise, I’m assuming right now,” he said. “Plus the day after is always worse. Overnight I was like, ‘Man, my knee hurts,’ and then I woke up this morning not being able to walk too well. It stinks.”
Williams wanted to be in the lineup, not on the injury report.
“That was quite a collision last night,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “There’s no concussion symptoms. That’s fine. It’s more of his shoulder and knee and the rest of his body that hit the wall.”
Mark Trumbo is “the same as yesterday” and “good to go,” Hyde said. The veteran was scratched from the lineup Monday with a strained left trapezius.
“He feels a lot better again today,” Hyde said.
Renato Núñez is day-to-day after being hit on the left hand Monday.
“I think there’s a possibility he could pinch-hit, but he’s still a little sore,” Hyde said.
Though Hunter Harvey didn’t pitch again last night, Hyde said “everything’s OK.”
Hyde said Chandler Shepherd will make another start after allowing three runs last night in four innings.
“We just haven’t penciled it in where,” Hyde said.
“I thought he threw the ball well, for a guy making his first major league start, I liked the aggressiveness in the strike zone. I think he’s got a little extra hop to his fastball. It’s 93 (mph) and it plays up a little bit. Thought his breaking ball got better as the game went along.
“It looked like he was a little nervous early and kind of settled in. Just made a couple bad pitches. A hanging slider to (Randal) Grichuk. Gave up another home. Besides that, I liked the aggressiveness in the strike zone.”
Miguel Castro struck out the side last night in the sixth inning and hasn’t allowed a run in his last 10 outings and 13 of 14. His ERA is down to 4.14, its lowest point since April 2.
Castro has allowed one hit in his last nine appearances over eight innings and has struck out nine batters. Opponents are 1-for-21 against him this month.
The right-hander posted a 5.28 ERA and 1.511 WHIP in 36 games in the first half and a 2.30 ERA and 1.134 WHIP in 27 games after the break.
“Miggy’s throwing the ball great,” Hyde said. “I think early on, especially the first half of the year, there were so many deep counts, a lot of walks. I just think he’s been way more aggressive in the strike zone. I think the slider’s gotten more consistent. You saw a lot of arm-side misses underneath the ball. Got his fingers on the side of the ball and Frisbee sliders early in the year. And now like you saw last night, the slider’s going down with some bite. Really tough on a right-handed hitter.
“Just commanding the ball a little bit better. The velo is the same, the pitch mix is pretty much the same, but his aggressiveness in the strike zone and getting his fingers on top of the slider has really been the difference.”
The stuff has always been there for Castro, but his mechanics get out of whack and he becomes more of a thrower than a pitcher. It comes and goes and has been a source of frustration for the organization.
What Castro is doing now allows Hyde to trust him in higher leverage situations. And Hyde is putting Castro in more favorable matchups when the game allows for it.
Right-handed hitters are batting .216/.294/.374 against him and left-handers are batting .242/.364/.374.
“I’ve been trying to set him up the last six weeks, two months, of really giving him the majority of right-handed hitters. I really want that slider to play,” Hyde said.
“He was struggling a little bit against left-handed hitters the first half of the year and I want to get his confidence going, and that confidence is at an all-time high right now. So I’m hoping this is what he is. A guy that came in last night against tough right-handed hitters and was able to put them away.”
For the Blue Jays
Bo Bichette SS
Cavan Biggio 2B
Randal Grichuk RF
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. DH
Reese McGuire C
Teoscar Hernández CF
Rowdy Tellez 1B
Brandon Drury 3B
Derek Fisher LF
Clay Buchholz RHP
Update II: Bo Bichette singled in the second inning to score Rowdy Tellez and cut the lead to 2-1. Dylan Bundy has issued four walks.
Update III: Trey Mancini’s two-run double in the second gave the Orioles a 4-1 lead.
Update IV: Jonathan Villar homered in the fourth for a 5-1 lead. Santander’s two-run shot later in the inning gave the Orioles a 7-1 lead.
Update V: Bichette had an RBI single off Tanner Scott in the sixth.
Update VI: Shawn Armstrong served up a three-run homer to Teoscar Hernández in the seventh to cut the lead to 7-5.
Update VII: DJ Stewart’s sacrifice fly in the seventh increased the lead to 8-5.