Orioles activate Richie Martin from injured list

Infielder Richie Martin is back in the majors.

In a surprise move, the Orioles reinstated Martin from the 60-day injured list this afternoon and he’s in New York for tonight’s series opener against the Yankees.

The Orioles optioned infielder Domingo Leyba to Triple-A Norfolk to make room on the active roster. They also put left-hander Ryan Hartman, claimed off waivers from the Astros, on the injured list.

Hartman is going through the necessary COVID-19 protocols after joining the organization Friday and the Orioles are allowed to temporarily remove him from the 40-man roster.

Martin-Swings-Triple-Gray-Sidebar.jpgMartin was expected to rejoin Norfolk after completing his injury rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie. Manager Brandon Hyde suggested as much over the weekend, saying that Martin needed more Triple-A at-bats. But he’s on the Orioles’ bench tonight.

The 2020 season never unfolded for Martin after he fractured a bone in his right wrist in a July intrasquad game at summer training camp, the injury occurring after he dove back into first base on a pickoff attempt by catcher Austin Wynns.

Martin fractured the other wrist in May after colliding with the center field fence while chasing a fly ball with the Tides. He hasn’t appeared in a major league game since Sept. 29, 2019 while concluding his Rule 5 rookie season.

One rehab game in the Florida Complex League last month was followed by four with Bowie. Martin went 4-for-15 with a double, home run, two walks and two stolen bases.

The year began with Martin undergoing surgery to remove a broken left hamate bone, the injury sustained while playing winter ball. Next came the outfield mishap and a lengthy shutdown and rehab.

Hyde can use Martin at shortstop and second base. He’s starting Ramón Urías and Pat Valaika tonight.

The Freddy Galvis trade to the Phillies at the deadline pretty much assures that Urías will be the primary shortstop. Urías has 10 RBIs since the break, tying him with Ryan Mountcastle and Pedro Severino for the team lead.

Valaika has eight RBIs in 12 games since the break, compared to 13 in 57 games during the first half.

Leyba was 10-for-65 (.154) with a .451 OPS in 21 games and 72 plate appearances after the Orioles selected him off waivers from the Diamondbacks in June and later promoted him.

Since the beginning of the 2017 season, the Orioles have gone 10-25 at Yankee Stadium with two series wins in April 2018 and March 2019. They’ve been outscored 243-143 during this stretch and out-homered 69-44.

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