Orioles pitcher John Means underwent an MRI on his left shoulder a couple of hours ago and the team is waiting for the results before speculating on the length of his absence from the active roster and how it impacts the rotation.
Means was placed on the 10-day injured list with a strain. Rookie Zac Lowther was recalled again from Triple-A Norfolk.
“With a couple off-days coming up, he leaves the game in the first inning with some tenderness in his shoulder, we’re going to side with caution and see what the results say here, probably in the next hour or so,” said manager Brandon Hyde via Zoom.
Hyde didn’t speak with Means today because the left-hander was away from the team to undergo the MRI.
The left shoulder has been a chronic issue for Means dating back to college, but he’s always recovered and now has emerged as one of the top pitchers in the majors, with a shot at making his second All-Star team.
“I don’t have long-term concern,” Hyde said. “It is something that he dealt with to start the year last year after summer camp, and back in ‘19 also - we shut him down for a couple weeks. I’m waiting to hear what the medical people say. That’s not my area of expertise, but I would love to try to keep him healthy. That’s why we push him back on occasion, after the no-hitter (May 5) we pushed him back a couple days, pushed him back a day before this last start. So I’m just waiting to see.”
The Orioles don’t play their fifth game in a row until June 15, allowing Hyde to manipulate the rotation.
“And then we’re going to figure it out from there,” Hyde said.
“Before we decide anything I want to see what the results say and get a timetable from our medical people, what they think, and we’ll figure out the rotation.”
Lowther hasn’t pitched since May 26 with Norfolk and can provide multiple innings out of the bullpen.
Anthony Santander is the designated hitter today while continuing to play with a sore ankle, a sprain sending him to the injured list on April 21. He’s 4-for-22 with seven strikeouts in his last six games and 6-for-28 in his last eight.
Santander’s last home run was hit on May 22.
“I give Anthony a ton of credit,” Hyde said. “He is playing with a really sore ankle, playing banged up, trying to post every night, wants to be in the lineup.
“I think he’s close to getting hot. I was kind of encouraged yesterday by the jam single the other way, just because he’s been rolling over on a lot of balls to the right side, so hopefully something like that can get him going. But he’s playing not 100 percent and giving everything he has every single day.”
There hasn’t been a setback with Santander’s ankle. He just hasn’t made a full recovery.
“It’s just a maintenance thing and an ankle sprain is tough,” Hyde said. “When you’re playing every day and playing the outfield, it’s not easy.”
Hyde doesn’t know whether infielder Pat Valaika will return from the bereavement list for the Mets series. Valaika can stay away from the team for a maximum of seven days.