“Hoping soon,” manager Brandon Hyde said during today’s Zoom conference call, “but I don’t have a for-sure date yet because we have to wait for results and other things.”
Hyde dismissed the possibility of Means pitching in Friday’s suspended game against the Nationals at Camden Yards. The game will resume in the top of the sixth inning with the Orioles batting as the road team.
Keegan Akin hasn’t pitched since the Orioles recalled him from the alternate camp site in Bowie. Hyde isn’t plugging him into the rotation and wants to avoid calling on him in the middle of an inning.
“I’m not going to put him in a game like last night,” Hyde said. “I am trying to find the right spot to use him, and that would be in a long relief-type role. We just haven’t had that opportunity.
“Last night wasn’t a good situation to make your debut as a long reliever in last night’s game. I’m still waiting for that opportunity, and when it comes you’ll see him in there.”
The bullpen is in decent shape after Hyde used seven relievers last night behind starter Alex Cobb. None worked more than one inning.
“We did use a lot of guys, they didn’t throw a ton of pitches,” Hyde said. “Came off an off-day. Army (Shawn Armstrong) I was trying to stay away from yesterday. He’ll be available tonight just because he threw a lot in the Washington series. But both left-handers (Tanner Scott and Paul Fry) had kind of short outings last night. Still got Akin and David Hess for long relief. Mychal Givens had a clean inning, so he’ll be available. (Travis) Lakins threw to one batter, so he should be fine.
“Our guys are going out to throw right now and I’ll get a report, but I think we should be in good shape tonight.”
Hyde said there have been a “handful of occasions” when the three-batter minimum rule for relievers has impacted how he wanted to match up against certain hitters.
“Like I said last night, I like the rule,” he said. “I just would like to be able to change my pitcher if they pinch-hit for their hitter. But I think it’s interesting, I think it’s a feel-out process right now going through this the first time. I had no idea what it was going to look like early on. Now I’m getting kind of used to it.
“But yeah, I just feel like if they pinch-hit, you should be able to change pitchers.”
Shortstop José Iglesias is back in the lineup tonight, but a sore left quadriceps muscle keeps forcing him out of it.
“It might be like this for a while just because it’s going to be hard to come back from ... I’m just not going to be able to give him significant time off,” Hyde said. “So we’re going to manage it the best way we can the next month and a half. It’s just going to be a daily conversation between me and him on how he’s feeling.
“I think we’ve done a pretty good job of managing it so far and will continue to do that going forward.”
Andrew Velazquez nearly had a steal of home last night in the eighth inning, a play signaled from the dugout. But the safe call was overturned upon review.
Velazquez broke for home as catcher J.T. Realmuto lobbed the ball to pitcher José Álvarez.
“That was from me,” Hyde said. “It’s a steal of home on the throw. I just saw (Jean) Segura playing way off the line, I’ve got a plus-runner at third base. I’ve got two strikes on a left-on-left hitter (Chris Davis), we’re trying to add another run somehow, I’m going to roll the dice.
“Going back and looking at it and talking to Drew about it today, it looks like he slid a little too soon and kind of got stuck a little bit. I thought he was safe in real time, saw the replay. That was disappointing to see once I heard and saw it on the JumboTron. But I just thought he slid a little too soon, got a little anxious and kind of stuck in the dirt a little bit. But that was a chance that I was willing to take to try to extend a lead, and we came up a half-inch short.”
The Orioles will try to improve their record to 9-7 and keep defying the critics who tabbed them as the worst team in baseball.
“I think that we’ve got a little bit of a renegade group here that has been dismissed by other clubs,” Hyde said. “Still early on in their careers. Trying to fight their way to stay in the big leagues and they’ve found a home here and they like to play here, and I think you’ve seen a lot of them improve.
“Once you’ve been DFA’d or put on waivers, that’s tough for a player to go through mentally. And to be able to get another opportunity, I know you’re going to try to make the most of it. And our guys, if you look at our lineup, I think we had six in there yesterday that had been put on waivers or designated for assignment, and I think that you’re out there, naturally going to play with something to prove all the time and I think we’ve done that so far.”
“Guys who have been moved around to different organizations,” he said. “Thinking teams gave up on them early. Roster decisions happen, so things happen with teams and sometimes you’re the odd man out, and we have guys who have been the odd man out.
“I just like the energy with which we play. We made mistakes last year quite a bit and we continue to make mistakes at times, but I think that our guys are getting more comfortable in the big leagues, getting more confident. You can kind of see it in their play, defensively and offensively. There’s a group of our guys that have moved on from other clubs and got an opportunity here and are playing well, so I’m proud of all those guys.”
For the Phillies
Andrew McCutchen LF
Rhys Hoskins 1B
Bryce Harper RF
J.T. Realmuto DH
Jean Segura 3B
Didi Gregorius SS
Phil Gosselin 2B
Andrew Knapp C
Roman Quinn CF
Zach Eflin RHP
I won’t be filing a game story tonight. Celebrating Emily Alt’s birthday and she deserves my undivided attention.