Updating Santander injury, Mountcastle struggles and more

The sprained left ankle that forced Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander onto the injured list is likely to keep him out until the back end of the projected two-to-four week range.

Santander injured the ankle in an April 20 game in Miami while getting back to first base on a pickoff throw.

Thumbnail image for Santander-Swings-Gray-NYY-Sidebar.jpg“He’s improving,” manager Brandon Hyde said in today’s Zoom call. “I’m assuming it’s going to be more like four weeks just because it’s a sprained ankle. He’s going to be out for a couple weeks and it’s going to take him a little while to come back. So getting better every single day. Baseball activities haven’t started yet, but hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.”

Ryan Mountcastle hit a couple balls hard last night, one of them a single into center field. Perhaps an indication that he’s ready to break out of a slump that’s held him to three hits in his last 35 at-bats.

Mountcastle is slashing .175/.212/.275 with only one home run, four walks and 27 strikeouts. He remains in the lineup as the designated hitter and the subject of speculation on whether the Orioles would consider optioning him to the alternate training site or Triple-A Norfolk, which begins its season on May 4.

“Right now, for me, I’d like to see him work through these struggles and work through a little bit of a tough start,” Hyde said. “I think that’s part of the game and that’s part of being a pro and that’s part of being a big leaguer and a young player is that you’re going to deal with adversity. Nobody’s working harder right now around the league than him offensively. He knows, he’s very aware of what he feels like and we feel like he needs to work on and get better at

“He’s had a little bit of bad luck along the way, too, for me. He’s driven some balls that have been caught that would change his numbers dramatically. I love seeing him get a hit last night on the breaking ball down and away, staying on the breaking ball, get the base hit to center, so he’s showing some signs of some pitch recognition. Corey Kluber’s a really, really tough at-bat for a young player and a right-handed hitter.

“Listen, we’re going stay with him. If (a demotion) crosses the line down the road, it does, but right now I want him to play as much as possible and continue to get experience, and hopefully he starts swinging the bat a little better.”

Dean Kremer makes his first start tonight since April 17 in Texas, not counting Friday’s outing at the alternate camp site in Bowie, where he allowed two runs in 2 1/3 innings.

“He kind of stayed on schedule, so he made a start in between the time he got optioned until today,” Hyde said. “Really nothing new. I think he’s just trying to build off that start he had in Texas, where he threw the ball very well and looking for something similar tonight. Being able to command his pitches, work ahead in the count and be aggressive in the strike zone like he was in Texas.”

Kremer is making his eighth major league start and the fourth against the Yankees.

“I think it’s the life in the AL East a little bit, it seems like,” Hyde said. “I don’t think that’s ideal, just because they have seen him a few times, once already this year and a couple times last year. I’m look forward to him facing some other teams. But I don’t think Dean thinks about it at all, honestly. I think he takes it on as a challenge.

“He knows them also, so he knows what’s worked and what’s not worked. He had a really good game that first start and he’s had a couple where he’s had some struggles, so hopefully he learns from those experiences, goes in with a game plan and he’s able to execute against a really tough lineup.”

For the Yankees
DJ LeMahieu 2B
Giancarlo Stanton DH
Gleyber Torres SS
Gio Urshela 3B
Mike Ford 1B
Aaron Hicks CF
Clint Frazier RF
Kyle Higashioka C
Brett Gardner LF

Domingo Germán RHP

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