Exactly how it was expected to happen.
Hays felt fine after playing seven innings Friday afternoon against the Nationals in Fredericksburg, Va., and he was back in left field yesterday for four innings in an intrasquad game at the alternate training site in Bowie.
I heard that he looked good again at the plate and in the field. What’s left now is a recovery day with camp closed and his reinstatement Tuesday from the injured list, with the Orioles beginning a two-game series in Miami.
The Orioles have an open spot on their roster after optioning Dean Kremer last night, but they could bring up a fresh arm from Bowie.
A fifth starter isn’t needed with off-days Monday and Thursday. Kremer must stay down 10 days unless replacing an injured player.
* Reliever Eric Hanhold hasn’t pitched in the majors since debuting with the Mets in 2018 and appearing in three games. He’s been carrying a 7.71 ERA for a long time and surely would like to unload it.
Hanhold, selected off waivers in September 2019, never made it out of the Orioles’ alternate camp site last summer. Whatever chance he had to make the opening day roster this year was ruined by the nine earned runs and 13 hits allowed in nine innings. He also walked five batters and hit one.
The Orioles reassigned Hanhold to the Twin Lakes camp and he’s been working out and playing games this month at the secondary training site. He’s appeared in two games against the Nationals, striking out five batters in two scoreless and hitless innings, and fanning two more Friday afternoon in his one scoreless inning in Fredericksburg.
Not the same as tossing him into a game at Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park, but still important if he’s going to get a chance with the Orioles. Manager Brandon Hyde checks the daily reports and is aware of Hanhold’s impressive outings.
It’s much better than the six runs he allowed in the second inning against the Rays on March 16 after Félix Hernández experienced discomfort in his right elbow.
(Has anyone seen or heard from Hernández?)
* Veteran left-hander Fernando Abad also has been good, collecting the save Friday by retiring the side in order, including a pair of left-handed hitters, after tossing a perfect inning Tuesday with two strikeouts.
On the same night that Abad was earning his save in Fredericksburg, Paul Fry retired all five Rangers that he faced, recording three strikeouts. About as good as he’s looked in a while. Dominating stuff, including a rising fastball that crept into the mid-90s.
Hyde kept trusting that Fry would revert to 2020 form, which was absent in spring training. Fry allowed 11 earned runs (12 total) and 14 hits with four walks in 9 1/3 innings, but the Orioles kept him on the roster and reassigned Abad.
Fry has strung together six consecutive scoreless outings since allowing a run and three hits in one-third of an inning in his 2021 debut in New York. He’s surrendered six hits, walked two batters and struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings.
“Those were spring training outings,” Hyde said Friday night, again dismissing results in February and March. “I think it was really good stuff, being aggressive in the strike zone and some ambushing spring training hitters. So, I wasn’t worried about his stuff.
“I know that he wanted to see results in spring and maybe that’s why he got off to a little bit of a slow start, just because he doesn’t have a ton of experience in this league, but he has really settled down nicely now and he’s had a few really good appearances in a row.
“I’m really encouraged by how he’s throwing the ball.”