Orioles' Smith plays first game since concussion; Hays adjusts to Triple-A; Norfolk faces Yankees' Aaron Judge - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ Smith plays first game since concussion; Hays adjusts to Triple-A; Norfolk faces Yankees’ Aaron Judge

MOOSIC, Pa.—Twelve days after he suffered a concussion when running into the left-field wall in Arlington, Texas, Dwight Smith Jr. has been cleared to play. In his first of two scheduled rehab games against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, Smith was hitless in four at-bats. He grounded out twice and struck out twice.

Smith robbed Logan Morrison of an extra-base hit in the sixth inning with a leaping catch in left field.

“I feel way better,” Smith said before the game. “My body feels better. My head feels way better than it did a couple of weeks ago. I’m ready to go out there and play and have fun out there.”

Smith caught a fly ball hit by Texas’ Rougned Odor to end the fourth inning in the Orioles’ June 6 game at Globe Life Park. He fell to the ground, but trotted into the dugout and batted in the fifth inning, grounding into an inning-ending double play.

After taking his position in left field in the bottom of the fifth, it was determined that Smith couldn’t continue. The next day, Smith was placed on the seven-day concussion injured list.

“I never had a concussion before, so I didn’t know the symptoms,” Smith said. “My body felt off. Good thing I came out of the game when I did. I had to wait and just rest and wait for my symptoms to go away.”

Initially Smith  didn’t think he was hurt.

“I didn’t feel too bad,” Smith said. “I felt like I could have gone up there to hit. That’s why I did it. After I put the ball in play and ran, that’s when I started feeling dizzy. Everything started moving, and my legs were getting weak. That’s why I knew there was something wrong.”

Smith is scheduled to play for the Tides on Wednesday before joining the Orioles for their series in Seattle on Thursday.


“A couple of games, just to get used to playing and just get the body back in baseball shape. That’s the main thing,” Smith said.

Hays in Triple-A: Austin Hays isn’t thriving in his first experience in Triple-A. Hays is batting .222 with a home run and two RBIs in nine games.

Hays skipped over Norfolk when he was promoted by the Orioles after his strong 2017 season at High-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie.

Last year, Hays missed much of the season because of a left ankle injury and later had surgery to repair the ankle. This year, he missed time because he slid headfirst into second late in spring training, spraining his left thumb.

Hays likes what he’s seen of the Triple-A life.

“It’s been nice so far,” he said. “It’s nice taking two buses instead of one and the spreads have been really good. As far as baseball goes, I haven’t seen any huge differences as far as competition or just anything that seems glaring. It’s baseball, just go out and play the game every day.”

In his minor league rehab, he began the season with Frederick, moved on to Bowie, and now is with the Tides.

“It is a little different atmosphere, just knowing that [the major leagues] is within reach,” Hays said. “Guys are going up and down basically every day, especially this season. I’d say everybody’s a little more hungry knowing that they’re just one shuttle away from going up, where they’ve been before.”

On the field, Hays does notice some difference.

“It’s the fundamentals of the game,” he said. “There’s less fundamental mistakes, just simple errors, things of that nature because guys are just more experienced, more crisp. They’ve played more games. That’s the only big difference that I’ve seen.”

The Orioles have Hays playing center field at Norfolk.

“I love center,” Hays said. “Instead of just running to one side of the field, you cover both, so you get more plays. It’s more fun to be in center.”

Eshelman starts on Wednesday: Tom Eshelman, who was acquired by the Orioles from Philadelphia for international signing bonus money, gets his second start for the Tides on Wednesday.

In his first start, Eshelman allowed two runs on seven hits in seven innings.

Eshelman was chosen by general manager Mike Elias in the second round of the 2015 draft when Elias was Houston’s scouting director, but was traded to the Phillies in the Ken Giles deal in December 2015.

“It’s always exciting to get traded,” Eshelman said. “It means the team wants you.”

“…I think the Phillies were in ‘win now’ mode,” Eshelman said “They have the lineup they needed to get. They were going out to try and find arms to help them with the big club but here, it’s more of like a process. You’ve got a lot of good arms in this clubhouse.”

Should the Orioles need another starter, Eshelman, who is not on the 40-man roster, could get a call.

Waiting on Hess: There was a locker set aside for David Hess at PNC Field, but Hess hadn’t arrived. He’s expected on Wednesday. Hess was optioned to Norfolk after Sunday’s game. Hess was 1-9 with a 7.36 ERA in 15 games with the Orioles and will be used in the bullpen by the Tides.

Judge on rehab: New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge is rehabbing his strained left oblique with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In his fourth rehab game, Judge walked, struck out and homered against starter Tyler Herb. He walked against reliever Jay Flaa.

Herb was acquired in March from San Francisco in exchange for Mike Yastrzemski.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. Orial

    June 19, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Please oh please–can somebody in the minors Please step up? We’re at the desperation point up here! Whatever happened to Mountcastle? Diaz I beg of you. Hays .220 really? DJ let’s get that ankle healed. SantanDARE please don’t start fizzlimg out on us. Step up Every body!!

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 19, 2019 at 8:05 am

      Orial, you’ll be reading about Mountcastle shortly. Diaz was named the Eastern League Player of the Week, and Hays has played just nine games at Triple-A.

    • Bhoffman1

      June 19, 2019 at 8:31 am

      Rich write about Mason McCoy. He had three hits last night back up to 330. I know you said Richie Martin hit in double A last year but when do we take a good look at this kid.

    • Bhoffman1

      June 19, 2019 at 8:33 am

      And who is this guy Zimmerman who threw a shutout at Bowie last night

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 19, 2019 at 9:31 am

      Bruce, I wrote about Bruce Zimmerman in February. He’s from Ellicott City. If he keeps it up, I will write more about him.

      Unfortunately, there’s only one me, and I don’t write about players I haven’t seen. This week, when I didn’t travel out West, the closest affiliate playing was Norfolk.

      I need to see Delmarva and am due for another visit to Bowie, and I’ll try to catch up with McCoy then.

  2. Fareastern89

    June 19, 2019 at 8:11 am

    Always nice to be greeted with news from Moosic in the morning. Good to see the organization taking a more patient and systematic approach to player development, instead of having players skip a level. Eshelman could hardly do worse than some of the others the O’s have cycled through the rotation this year. Looking forward to more pitching depth at Norfolk next year, as the better Bowie pitchers (Wells, Lowther) continue to move through the system.

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 19, 2019 at 9:33 am

      Fareastern, PNC Field is a lovely ballpark, and I had a nice night with the Tides.

      • Fareastern89

        June 19, 2019 at 11:23 am

        Good to know. I’d like to visit all of the International League parks over the next few summers, and PNC is actually one of the closest.

  3. Mickraut

    June 19, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Great outing by Zimmermann- complete game shutout, 4 singles, no walks, under 100 pitches.

  4. Jbigle1

    June 19, 2019 at 10:51 am

    Eshelman on the same schedule as our Rogers/opener slot. No surprise there as he should get the next crack at the rotation. Hopefully he turns in a solid performance tonight and he’s up next week.

  5. ButchBird59

    June 19, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    Hindsight is always 20/20 but, rushing Hays to the bigs was a big mistake. He’s leaving a ton of runners on base at the moment. Good news is he still has plenty of time and potential. My only access is through MiLB.com video but, so far he seems to be adapting to Center Field quite well.

    I hope they don’t make the same mistake with Diaz. I freely admit I don’t understand launch angles, exit velocity, fluid dynamics, thermal mechanics, or the inverse square law of the propagation of light but, I do know when Diaz hits them it doesn’t take long for the ball to leave the yard. He’s definitely worth a little patience.

  6. deqalt

    June 19, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    Should we be concerned that Adley has not signed yet? Hadn’t Witt Jr signed two weeks ago? Why is it taking this long?

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 19, 2019 at 3:30 pm

      Don’t be concerned.

  7. Ekim

    June 19, 2019 at 3:21 pm

    Changing the subject… it’s 3:15pm on Wednesday and it’s only a few minute until game ( home run time ) time and Straily hasn’t been DFA’d. ????????? This is beyond unbelievable! ( Yea… I know… it’s the “plan” but the O’s seem to be trying to chase the fans away) Just saying…

    • Jbigle1

      June 19, 2019 at 4:25 pm

      I truly don’t understand why Straily is still on this roster. Today would’ve been the perfect time to DFA him considering he pitched (got smoked) 2+ innings last night. I have no idea why we don’t believe there’s a better long man in AAA. This clown needs to go. I have no idea what they’re waiting for. He cannot pitch at Camden Yards.

    • ClayDal

      June 19, 2019 at 7:37 pm

      The reason they didn’t DFA Straily is because they were on the West Coast with an afternoon game and they would not have been able to get anyone out there in time who would be available to pitch. Since Straily pitched 2 1/3 innings yesterday the bullpen was rested. I suspect he will be replaced when they get to Seattle. BTW where is Sean Gilmartin?

      • Jbigle1

        June 20, 2019 at 3:12 am

        Makes sense. Would’ve been a tight window to get a guy from Norfolk and ready to pitch. Though it’s now post game Wednesday and Straily is still on our roster. I suppose later today we’ll see if he gets DFA’d. If he does not, then we have a problem. Though I expect the next guy we pull from the minors is either Branden Kline or Tanner Scott yet again. Considering Rogers is already up here and Ortiz/ Phillips were optioned less than 10 days ago. There really aren’t a whole lot of options.

  8. OriolesNumber1Fan

    June 19, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    Orial and Ekim need to chill!!! I understand they’re probably not used to all this losing, probably because of all the winning seasons we had prior to last year. But, it’s called “Tanking”. We need another year of 1st round picks for next year. Just be lucky this isn’t the NBA where “Tanking” to have the worst record doesn’t always mean getting the first pick. As a matter of fact, you usually don’t!!!

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