Orioles option McKenna to Triple-A Norfolk (updated)

Outfielder Austin Hays isn’t in Triple-A Norfolk’s lineup for tonight’s game in Jacksonville.

The Orioles just announced that they optioned outfielder Ryan McKenna to the Tides.

The dots seem fairly easy to connect unless a curve is thrown while the outfield picture is adjusted.

Hays has been on an injury rehab assignment after his left hamstring healed. He strained it during a May 23 game in D.C.

This is the second appearance for Hays on the injured list. He suffered a strained right hamstring during the third game of the season in Boston.

McKenna-Hits-Gray-Debut-NYY-Sidebar.jpgMcKenna has been the corresponding roster move.

Hays apparently has convinced the Orioles that he’s ready to return after playing in two games with Norfolk and going 1-for-8 with a home run and three strikeouts. He played left and right field.

In 32 games with the Orioles, Hays is batting .252/.319/.455 with six doubles, two triples, five home runs and 15 RBIs over 137 plate appearances. He had hits in eight of his last 10 games before landing on the IL, going 2-for-4 with a run scored on May 23.

Hays could be joining the Orioles in St. Petersburg, Fla., making the trip from Jacksonville, where he attended college and became a third-round pick in the 2016 draft. The Orioles will announce the corresponding roster move prior to their series opener against the Rays.

McKenna made his major league debut on April 5 and has appeared in 33 games. He’s gone 8-for-41 (.195) with a double, triple, three RBIs and eight runs scored.

McKenna has made eight starts in right field and four in left.

Cedric Mullins isn’t budging from center field, which likely puts Hays in left and moves Ryan Mountcastle to first base or designated hitter. Hays also could spell Anthony Santander in right.

Santander is playing with a sore left ankle after spraining it on April 20 in Miami and missing a month of the season.

Update: Hays is meeting the Orioles in St. Petersburg, so he’s the corresponding move, as expected.

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