More on Lakins’ elbow and Watkins’ arrival in majors

Orioles pitcher Travis Lakins Sr. isn’t done undergoing tests on his right elbow.

Manager Brandon Hyde said today on his Zoom call that Lakins will have the elbow checked again later this week after the team arrives in California to finish its road trip against the Angels. The Orioles are off Thursday.

No matter the result, Lakins is expected to be unavailable for a significant stretch.

Thumbnail image for Hyde-Observes-Workout-Spring-Sidebar.jpg“Right now we’re still calling it an elbow strain, but they’re going to do some further tests on it,” Hyde said on his media Zoom call. “We don’t know for sure. I think it’s going to be a while, though.”

Lakins grimaced and exited last night’s game with the bases loaded and two outs in the second inning. He was making his first start since 2019.

Spenser Watkins and Isaac Mattson are in the bullpen tonight to freshen it up. Watkins had his contract selected today from Triple-A Norfolk and Mattson was recalled for his second stint with the club.

“Off-day is coming in handy tomorrow,” Hyde said.

“Mattson, we know, he was in major league camp with us for a while and he made an appearance earlier in the year, and he’s on the 40-man and he was here on the taxi, so that was easy to have a guy that we have here now that will be able to give us an inning or two if needed tonight.

“With Watkins, I don’t know much about him, to be honest. He wasn’t in major league camp with us. He did come over and throw some sim and stuff. I remember seeing him. He has pitched fairly well in Triple-A, he is built up, so he can give us some length, hopefully. But right now with our starters, we’re having a tough time getting length out of our starters, our bullpen is extremely taxed. Kind of limping here to the All-Star break. And I want to give guys some breathers.

“To have two arms that are fresh, we needed big-time.”

Watkins, 28, thought about retiring and pursing a coaching opportunity before the Orioles contacted his agent and negotiated a minor league contract in January.

“I think it was pretty close,” said Watkins, whose voice cracked as he wiped tears from his eyes during his Zoom call. “Going through 2020 just like everybody else did, there was a lot of uncertainty and there was a lot of pressure for me to figure out a way to provide for my family, in a sense.

“Something like this, getting to the big leagues after the years I’ve put into this, I can’t put into words. I think I’ve been shaking since I got the phone call. It means everything to me and my family.”

Austin Hays is on the bench tonight as the Orioles close out their series in Houston. DJ Stewart is playing left field and Anthony Santander is in right.

Trey Mancini is the first baseman and Ryan Mountcastle serves as designated hitter.

Domingo Leyba is starting at second base, with Ramón Urías at shortstop.

For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Trey Mancini 1B
Anthony Santander RF
Ryan Mountcastle DH
DJ Stewart LF
Maikel Franco 3B
Pedro Severino C
Domingo Leyba 2B
Ramón Urías SS

Matt Harvey RHP

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