Orioles' Milone excited about Opening Day start; Harvey likely to begin season on injured list - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ Milone excited about Opening Day start; Harvey likely to begin season on injured list

Tommy Milone didn’t sign with the Orioles until spring training was underway. He might be the most unlikely Opening Day starter in team history.

When John Means was diagnosed with arm fatigue, manager Brandon Hyde’s best option was Alex Cobb. However, Hyde didn’t want to rush Cobb, who missed nearly all of 2019 after hip and knee surgery.

He could have picked 35-year-old left-hander Wade LeBlanc, who played with Milone in Seattle last year. Instead, he picked the 33-year-old, who wasn’t even on the Orioles’ 40-man roster until last Saturday. Milone will pitch against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park on Friday night.

“I don’t know the last time a non-roster invitee made an Opening Day start,” Milone said in a video conference call on Wednesday.

“I don’t know if that’s something that’s in the record books. I’m excited for the opportunity and ready to get going.”

Milone has started 136 major league games for Washington, Oakland, Minnesota, Milwaukee, the New York Mets and Seattle, but never an opener.

“It probably is going to be the only time that it happens,” said Milone, whose career record is 50-47.

The scene at Fenway is going to be much different than what the Orioles would have encountered March 26 at Camden Yards had Covid-19 not delayed the start of the season, reduced it to 60 games and forced it to be played without fans.

“You think of Opening Day, you think of a full ballpark,” Milone said.

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“A lot of cheering, a lot of fans. I’m going to go out there, and I’m not going to see anybody in the seats besides a couple of players that are in the stands. It’s definitely going to be different, but either way, Opening Day is an honor, and it’s always something to look forward to, and that’s what I’m doing—looking forward to it.”

In four career starts at Fenway, Milone is 0-3 with a 9.33 ERA. He’s allowed 33 hits in 18 1/3 innings but hasn’t pitched there in four years.

On July 24, 2016, while pitching with the Twins, Milone allowed eight runs, four unearned, on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings

“Not worrying about what’s happened in the past would probably be the best idea,” Milone said. “I think it’s been a long time since I’ve been there. Definitely a lot of new faces.

“It’s not going to help to dwell on anything that’s happened in the past there. I just need to … have confidence in myself and have confidence I’m going to do the job.”

Hyde enjoyed surprising Milone with the news.

“It’s obviously something I didn’t expect, but an honor, anyway.”

Cobb will pitch on Saturday and LeBlanc on Sunday in Boston.

Means could pitch one of the two games in Miami on Monday and Tuesday, Hyde said.

Harvey not likely to start season with Orioles: Hunter Harvey will likely start the season on the injured list, Hyde said.

“It’s very doubtful that he’s going to break with us,” he said. “He’s still got some soreness. Hopefully, he gets healthy soon, and we see him on the mound. He’s a big part of our club. I think the chances him of breaking with us are extremely slim.”

Hyde described Harvey’s injury as being “muscular, and it is in the elbow area. We’re not concerned about it at all. It’s a little tight. We’re just being conservative with him, we’re monitoring him.”

Hyde said the Orioles are making their final decisions on the 30-man roster, but Harvey’s unavailability won’t change the number of pitchers on the roster.

Dillon Tate is also likely to start the season on the injured list because of an elbow injury he suffered in an intrasquad game when he was hit by a batted ball.

There’s still a chance that Dwight Smith Jr., who is on the injured list after he tested positive for Covid-19, could start the season with the team, Hyde said.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. CalsPals

    July 22, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Good luck to Milone, there is a reason he hasn’t started an opener in his career & why he is so excited, oh well, so it begins…go O’s…

    • TxBirdFan

      July 22, 2020 at 5:24 pm

      Some may recall another famous “Malone” who pitched at Fenway but flamed out and wound up as the barkeep at CHEERS! Good old Sammy! Let’s all raise a glass for Tommy and hope for the best.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        July 22, 2020 at 8:53 pm

        Mayday Milone.

  2. CalsPals

    July 22, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Very concerned about Harvey, short of last yr, he just seems to have injury in his DNA…go O’s…

  3. Bancells Moustache

    July 22, 2020 at 5:46 pm

    Soooo… are the Blue jays even going to be able to play? I’m surprised how little the national media is talking about this complete debacle. Just a few hours from Opening Day and a Major League franchise doesn’t have a place to play!

    • Bozman

      July 22, 2020 at 6:42 pm

      They are going to get play at PMC park in Pittsburgh.

    • Bozman

      July 22, 2020 at 6:47 pm

      Scratch that…. the state of PA put the brakes on that.

    • CalsPals

      July 22, 2020 at 6:51 pm

      ESPN said they are trying to either play in Buffalo (inadequate lights) or play all their home games at the opponents stadium, but as the home team…it’s a cluster…go O’s…

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      July 22, 2020 at 8:50 pm

      It’s Trumps fault.

    • CalsPals

      July 22, 2020 at 9:05 pm

      You being an antagonist?…go O’s…

  4. BirdsCaps

    July 22, 2020 at 8:06 pm

    The world can be locked down in pandemic, the cities can be experiencing mass unrest, and murder hornets can be coming to kill us all, but a hunter Harvey injury is something you can always count on no matter how weird it gets.

  5. dlgruber1

    July 23, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    One thing I haven’t heard discussed anywhere is this:
    Say it’s 30-40 games into the season and of course at that point only a handful of teams will be out of it, when a team, or even more than one, has a Covid outbreak among its players. Say 5 or 6 get it and the rest say “I’m not gonna play anymore, this is nuts.” What happens? It would affect every team in its division as far as playing all their schedule. Has anyone heard this mentioned anywhere by MLB?

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