Hyde updates Harvey, Martin and Ruiz

An examination of Orioles reliever Hunter Harvey confirmed that he has a strained oblique, an injury suffered after throwing one pitch in Friday’s game against the Phillies.

Manager Brandon Hyde couldn’t provide a timeline for Harvey’s recovery, of course, but the former first-round pick is expected to go on the injured list.

Harvey-Follow-Through-Orange-Sidebar.jpg“He’s going to miss some time,” Hyde said in his Zoom call with the media. “How much time, we’re not sure, just because obliques are tricky. But it’s an injury. The oblique is super sore.

“I just talked to him five minutes ago. He feels a lot better today, but that’s just going to be, we’re going to have to give it time and see how it goes.”

Infielder Richie Martin isn’t going to play today, but should make his spring debut Tuesday afternoon in Port Charlotte. He’s hitting in a simulated game at the Ed Smith Stadium complex.

“We’re going to give him one more day of some at-bats on the back field,” Hyde said.

“If everything goes well, he should be in there tomorrow.”

Thomas Eshelman, Dillon Tate and Rule 5 pitchers Mac Sceroler and Tyler Wells are participating in the sim game.

Third baseman Rio Ruiz is back in the lineup today, but on the verge of sharing or losing the position to Maikel Franco, who’s close to reaching agreement on a major league contract for 2021. Final details must be worked out and a physical arranged.

Ruiz has been the primary third baseman under Hyde’s watch, but unable to find the consistency that allows him to truly become established and a definite part of the rebuild. The Orioles optioned him in 2019 and he went through more dry spells at the plate last summer.

“I think Rio’s improving,” Hyde said. “Rio hasn’t had much game action, so he’s starting, really, spring training today. He’s got a couple weeks to get ready.

“I think Rio’s had real positive moments the last couple years and had some negative moments as well, but for the most part has done a nice job at third base for us and is continuing to improve. So, he’s going to continue to get opportunities at third base and I’m going to play him as much as I can the last couple weeks.”

Ruiz is 1-for-12 as he readies for today’s game against the Pirates.

Matt Harvey makes his second start today and continues to work on his mechanics based on the instruction received in camp and over the winter at Baseball Performance Center in New Jersey.

“I know he’s excited about it,” Hyde said. “I talk to him every day. He’s one of the guys that comes in my office every single morning. I know he’s energetic and excited about the changes that he’s made with our pitching guys, with Holty (Chris Holt) and Darren Holmes, working on some delivery stuff as well as some different pitches and grips, etc. I know he’s in a really good place mentally and looking forward to taking that stuff into the game.

“I thought he threw the ball pretty well in that sim game his last start and see if it translates into game action here the next couple weeks.”

Hyde has been giving relievers clean innings unless a starter’s pitch count reaches uncomfortable levels. However, he’s going to start using them in the middle of an inning to simulate regular-season situations.

Travis Lakins Sr. would have replaced Bruce Zimmermann yesterday in the seventh if the left-hander hadn’t gotten the last out.

“That was going to start yesterday,” Hyde said.

Fernando Abad also is listed among today’s relievers. He joins Keegan Akin and Shawn Armstrong.

Pirates right fielder Phillip Evans was scratched with left hamstring tightness and replaced by Troy Stokes.

Félix Hernández opposes the Rays’ Ryan Yarbrough Tuesday afternoon in Port Charlotte. John Means opposes the Braves’ Charlie Morton Wednesday night in Sarasota.

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