Two Orioles are having surgery on Wednesday, and neither will get on the field this year for the team. Left-handed pitcher Ty Blach is having Tommy John surgery, and infielder Richie Martin will undergo a procedure in his right wrist.
Blach left Thursday night’s intrasquad game complaining of elbow soreness, and Martin collided with Chris Davis while diving back to first base in Friday night’s intrasquad game.
While Blach was a long shot to make the team, Martin had a good chance to make the 30-man roster the Orioles will keep for the first two weeks of the 60-game season that begins on July 24.
“It’s awful for both of them,” manager Brandon Hyde said in a Monday video conference call. “I felt really badly.”
The 25-year-old Martin, who was the top overall pick in the December 2018 Rule 5 draft, hit .208 with six home runs and 23 RBIs in 120 games last season. Had the season not been truncated, Martin would have likely begun the year at Triple-A Norfolk so that he could play shortstop every day.
But with the minor league season canceled, Martin could have backed up José Iglesias at shortstop and Hanser Alberto at second base.
“The work that he’s put in, you wanted to see that pay off,” Hyde said. “I loved the swing adjustments he was making. I just like the way Richie plays. He plays with energy. He comes to play every day. He’s an ultra-pro. It’s going to be tough not having him here.
“He’s still really young. We hope the surgery goes well, and he bounces back. I’m sure he will.”
Martin’s recovery time is two-to-three months, effectively ending his season.
The 29-year-old Blach was 1-3 with an 11.32 ERA in five starts with the Orioles in 2019 and was considered a depth piece in the starting rotation.
“Ty put himself in a really nice position,” Hyde said. “He worked really hard these last three months, and he’s never been on the [injured list] before in his career, and to just feel something wrong in the second inning of an intrasquad, and it turns out to be Tommy John surgery, your heart goes out to him.
“The work he’s put in; he’s a great guy. His makeup is fantastic, and he’s an ultra-team guy, so that’s sad that he’s going to have surgery.”