Orioles' Wojciechowski has another strong outing; Means placed on injured list - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ Wojciechowski has another strong outing; Means placed on injured list

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

ANAHEIM, California—Asher Wojciechowski woke up on Friday morning not knowing the result of the Orioles’ grueling game with the Los Angeles Angels from the night before.

Wojciechowski, who was scheduled to start a night later, watched the game from the dugout but left the ballpark to get some sleep close to midnight with the game in the 12th inning.

When he returned to the Orioles’ hotel, Wojciechowski stayed with the game until the 15th,  when both teams scored three runs apiece. He finally went to sleep and didn’t know how it ended until he woke up.

He was happy to see that Stevie Wilkerson recorded a save in the 10-8, 16-inning win but concerned that manager Brandon Hyde needed to use all eight relievers to get to the 16th. Wojciechowski knew what he had to do Friday night.

“That’s just a game … where I know I need to go deep,” he said. “I need to give the bullpen a rest. Every single game I’m trying to do that. I’m trying to do as quick as I can, get quick outs. I wouldn’t say it’s anything extra. You don’t want to put any pressure on yourself. You just want to do your job and execute pitches.”

Coming off the best start of his career, in which he pitched six hitless innings against the Boston Red Sox, and allowed just a single hit in 7 1/3 innings, Wojciechowski was sharp again.

He retired the first 11 Los Angeles Angels on his way to seven solid innings in the Orioles’ 9-3 win.

“I’m just executing pitches,” Wojciechowski said. “I’m in a good rhythm with my mechanics, and I’m making pitches.”

In his last two starts, Wojciechowski has allowed two runs on four hits in 14 1/3 innings. Just a month ago, he was pitching for Cleveland’s Triple-A Columbus Clippers,

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“He’s been enormous for us,” Hyde said. “He’s going deep for us. That was a bullpen saver on a day when we really, really needed it with so many guys down. The way he pitched with a lead, too. Throwing strikes, attacking hitters. I love his competitiveness. I think you see, after strikeouts, I like his emotion on the mound. He’s out to beat people, and I love the way he competes.”

The Orioles quickly got to work against Los Angeles starter Nick Tropeano, who was called up to pitch because the Angels exhausted their bullpen, too, the night before.

The Orioles scored seven runs against Tropeano in the first two innings, but he stayed in the game for five.

The Orioles scored six in the second, equaling their biggest inning of the season. Renato Nunez’s 25th home run, a three-run shot, was the big hit.

Trey Mancini hit a two-run home run in the ninth. In each of his three complete major league seasons, Mancini has hit 24 home runs.

The Orioles equaled a major league record by hitting at least two home runs in each of their last nine games. They are 34-69 and have won six of nine and are 12-11 since June 28.

“I think you see some guys starting to put together some pretty nice years,” Hyde said. “Trey Mancini and Nunez and [Anthony] Santander and [Jonathan] Villar, and you’re talking about a Chance Sisco got here and he’s done a nice job offensively and defensively, [Pedro] Severino.

“So, you are seeing some position players having some nice years and some of the leverage guys I’ve been using have done a nice job, too, with the lead. Paul Fry and Shawn [Armstrong] and Mike [Givens] and [Richard] Bleier. Even though their numbers overall in the course of the season don’t really show it, I feel like the last month they’ve all been pitching better. We’ve done a better job pitching with the lead this last month.”

Last year, the Orioles didn’t win their 34th game until their 112th game, so they’re nine games ahead of last year’s pace.

Means to injured list: John Means is on the 10-day injured list for the second time this season with soreness in his left biceps. The move is retroactive to July 25.

“You can tell he didn’t have the same finish on his pitches the last couple innings in that start in Arizona [on July 24],” Hyde said. “We’re checking him out, and we thought the right thing was for him to miss one start and go on the IL. He should be back as soon as he comes off the IL in the next eight days.”

Means will be eligible to pitch on August 4. Hyde doesn’t know who’ll take Means’ place in the rotation.

Means was on the IL for 10 days last month with stiffness in his left shoulder.

“I’m relying on our medical people,” Hyde said. “They’re really not concerned about it at all. I don’t think there are any red flags there.

“It’s his rookie year in the big leagues. Even though he has a track record of starting, the intensity level is different here. I think he’s still getting used to the major league grind.

“The right thing to do is not to push him through anything. We obviously care a ton about John Means. He’s a big part of us going forward, and we want to do what’s right for him going forward and for him to finish the season strong.”

Making more moves:  Means’ move was one of five the Orioles made on Friday. To fortify their bullpen, the Orioles optioned left-hander Tanner Scott to Triple-A Norfolk and recalled right-hander Evan Phillips from Norfolk and right-hander Dillon Tate from Double-A Bowie.

Phillips allowed a run in the ninth inning.

The Orioles also designated right-hander Nate Karns for assignment. Karns spent nearly all the season on the IL with a right forearm injury.

“We feel like the right thing to do with our organization was to move on,” Hyde said. “I’m going to miss him. Obviously, he didn’t pitch very much for us. He was a pleasure to have in the clubhouse, a veteran guy, an awesome guy to have in the dugout. He’s loud in the dugout and really supported the guys.”

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

26 Comments

26 Comments

  1. Orial

    July 27, 2019 at 8:23 am

    Interesting that Nunez is getting playing time at 3B. If it pans out defensively(I have my doubts) it will be a real coup for Hyde and the O’s. Peterson getting a look at 2B at the expense of Alberto–questionable(though Peterson does deserve some playing time). Seems to be a logjam developing in the IF. Means’ second stint on the IL already–hmmm.

    • Jbigle1

      July 27, 2019 at 11:38 am

      Probably just a day off for Alberto. He’s been playing every single day.

    • cedar

      July 27, 2019 at 12:23 pm

      I see what you did there Jbigle1 – kudos!

  2. CalsPals

    July 27, 2019 at 8:44 am

    How do people feel about Hyde’s comment on Wojo’s emotion on the mound? I remember saying earlier we needed to show some emotion on the mound & was chastised, 38 yrs coaching here…go O’s…

  3. chico salmon

    July 27, 2019 at 9:26 am

    Can’t help but wonder if Nunez is being showcased as a third baseman for trade purposes. It seems that, all of a sudden just a week before the deadline, he’s now at 3B. Will they trade Nunez, Alberto, Givens, Fry, Mancini? For those having drank the tank-and-rebuild cool aid, read Thomas Boswell’s commentary in today’s Sun. Makes for interesting and thought provoking reading.

    • Camden Brooks

      July 27, 2019 at 10:39 am

      I think it’s more that we cut our starting 3rd baseman. We’ll see how he plays there, and if it has an impact on his hitting.

  4. Bman

    July 27, 2019 at 9:48 am

    I questioned why they let Alberto and Wojo go. Knew they had some talent there. Glad they brought them back into the fold. Making some good decisions now. Next few days up to deadline will be interesting.

  5. willmiranda

    July 27, 2019 at 10:44 am

    I”m just enjoying the wins. It’s good to see that the players don’t believe they have to be worse than they
    are to fit into some nutty scorch and destroy.reconstruction plan. Now that the team is playing well together, is it time to break them up? Of course, some will say that we shouldn’t be deceived by this little burst before the trade deadline and the players can’t keep this up. But most of those performing well do not seem to be flashes in the pan. Fifteen wins above last year a goal I once suggested, doesn’t seem so impossible now.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 27, 2019 at 11:03 am

      Will, in order to achieve a 15-win improvement, they would have to go 28-31 the rest of the way. That seems a little optimistic with 13 of those games against the Yankees, Astros and Dodgers.

      • Jbigle1

        July 27, 2019 at 11:46 am

        No chance we go 28-31. We really only have 2 real starters with Means on the DL. Can’t let a mini hot streak get to your head. It’s good to see them playing better but you’re only going to win so many games throwing Aaron Brooks and Ynoa. Not to mention opening Jimmy Yack….

      • willmiranda

        July 27, 2019 at 3:20 pm

        Of course I”m being optimistic, Rich. Is optimism banned here? We can’t always be rehearsing worst case scenarios. Besides, ‘not impossible” doesn’t mean probable. Anyway, if they go 4-9 in their matchups with the three toughest teams, they would have to go 24-22 in their other games, against weaker competition. With a little luck, the O’s will be encountering some teams dead in the water in September. As for the tough teams, they may be coasting or looking ahead (check out the Red Sox this past week, looking to the Yankees), so we may be able to steal some games from them. For optimism, I think what if we are always at our best and our opponents are always at their worst. It won’t happen that way, but there are a whole lot of permutations in there, and some of them aren’t so bad.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 27, 2019 at 3:56 pm

      I’m just not used to optimism around here, Will.

    • Dave Gruber

      July 27, 2019 at 5:26 pm

      As a 50 year fan who is really enjoying watching the way this team competes , is it wrong for me to hope they continue to compete but just fall short enough to secure the top pick again in next years draft?

      • Rich Dubroff

        July 27, 2019 at 7:46 pm

        They’ll probably get the first or second pick. There’s nothing wrong with getting the second pick, Dave.

  6. Bhoffman1

    July 27, 2019 at 11:45 am

    Let’s see how Dillon Tate performs. When I was a kid the O’s staff was called the baby birds. Bunker, McNally, Palmer, Barber, Pappas. It would be nice to see some baby birds from Bowie pitch here this year. As for Mountcastle keeping him at Norfolk is a travesty. He has nothing more to prove with his bat.

    • Jbigle1

      July 27, 2019 at 11:49 am

      Where’s he gonna play? He’s only hitting 10% above league average in AAA. That’s solid, don’t get me wrong but he’s not exactly the Mike Trout of AAA. He needs to find a defensive position. He also needs to work on his ugly plate discipline. This isn’t a travesty.

      For comparison’s sake DJ Stewart is 36% above the league average in AAA and has a defensive position.

    • Bhoffman1

      July 27, 2019 at 12:06 pm

      Bigle Mountcastle is hitting 306 and Steward is hitting 286

    • Bhoffman1

      July 27, 2019 at 12:09 pm

      And he can play first except Mr Davis is blocking him there.

    • Bhoffman1

      July 27, 2019 at 12:19 pm

      Plus he has 19 homered hit two last night. So I think you got your analytical numbers wrong

    • Bhoffman1

      July 27, 2019 at 12:25 pm

      And I agree Steward should be in the outfield playing over Smith jr.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 27, 2019 at 12:53 pm

      Actually, he has a lot more to prove with his bat, Bruce. He’s walked just 14 times in Triple-A. That won’t play in the major leagues. It wouldn’t be surprising if you don’t see Mountcastle with the Orioles until 2020.

    • Bhoffman1

      July 27, 2019 at 1:35 pm

      Alberto doesn’t walk either.

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 27, 2019 at 2:05 pm

      Alberto has struck out 32 times. Mountcastle has struck out 97 times.

    • Raymo

      July 27, 2019 at 2:11 pm

      Plus Alberto is a place holder. Mountcastle can continue to develop under the radar at AAA.

    • Bhoffman1

      July 27, 2019 at 5:33 pm

      All power hitters strikeout . Yes Mountcastle can develop more. I wish he could play third and Mancini at first when Davis starts collecting 22 mil a year for sitting on his ass. Alberto can be more then a placeholder. The guy hits

  7. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    July 27, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    It’s nice to see Asher Wojo. string together 3 straight solid outings. I hope Means can bounce back. The Orioles offense has been scoring runs. Another nice win no complaints here.

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