BALTIMORE—The Orioles placed centerfielder Austin Hays on the 10-day injured list with a non-displaced rib fracture on Saturday. Hays was hit by a pitch on August 6th against Miami, got X-rays, which were negative, but the condition got worse, manager Brandon Hyde said.
Hays made two difficult catches in the Philadelphia series, one against the wall and a diving catch, which aggravated the injury.
“It was a little tender in the same spot after,” Hyde said. “[Friday] night, he felt like he was a little sore in that area, and he went and got checked out a second time, and they found a small fracture there.”
Hyde hopes Hays will be back quickly.
“Our medical people are pretty confident that this is going to be a 10-day trip,” Hyde said. “He’s just a little bit tender in that area. I think it’s gotten progressively worse since he ran into the wall in Philadelphia.
“They feel like it’s going to be 10 days, and he should be good to go.”
Hays was hitting .203 with a home run, an inside-the-park game-winner on Tuesday, and five RBIs.
The Orioles recalled outfielder Cedric Mullins from the alternate site in Bowie to replace Hays.
Mullins, who began the season with the Orioles, was sent to Bowie a week ago after hitting .077 (1-for-13).
He and Andrew Velázquez will share playing time. Velázquez is in Saturday night’s starting lineup against the Nationals.
“I’m going to split it up, depending on matchup,” Hyde said. “Both guys switch-hit. I think you’ll see both those guys get playing time. It’s just going to be a daily decision on who’s going to be in center.”
López activated: Hyde has another arm in his bullpen for Saturday’s game. The Orioles activated right-handed pitcher Jorge López, whom they acquired on waivers from Kansas City on Sunday.
The 27-year-old is 7-15 with a 5.97 ERA in games in parts of five seasons with Milwaukee and the Royals.
He allowed two runs in 2/3rds of an inning in his only appearance this season before Kansas City designated him for assignment.
“It’s been kind of crazy, my first time being DFA’d,” López said in a video conference call. “I knew I had the possibility of a team picking me up. I’m so blessed to be with the Orioles, and I’m really pumped since the day they picked me up.”
López, who played winter ball with Orioles catcher Pedro Severino in the Dominican Republic in 2017, has experience starting and relieving in the major leagues.
“I’m a new guy,” he said. “I’m a new student for the Orioles, and just take advantage to what they can bring me.”
Last August 19th, Lopez pitched well against the Orioles, throwing five innings and allowing a run on two hits.
“I’m real excited to add him,” Hyde said. “This is a guy who’s got starting stuff … He’s got a mid-90s fastball with movement. I like the breaking ball.”
López will be used in long relief, Hyde said.
Holaday to the rescue: After Cody Carroll threw 42 pitches in relief on Friday, Hyde used third-string catcher Bryan Holaday as an emergency reliever in the ninth inning of Friday’s 15-3 loss. Carroll was sent to the Bowie alternate site after the game along with Keegan Akin, who made his major league debut.
It was the first time Hyde had used a position player as a reliever this season.
“I thought the game was out of hand, and I didn’t want to use any of the other bullpen guys,” Hyde said. “I was hoping Cody could get through that second inning, and I didn’t want to push him any further than he went. Bryan picked us up and finished it out for us.”
Last year, Stevie Wilkerson made four relief appearances. Hanser Alberto, Chris Davis and Jesus Sucre also pitched.
Means coming back: On Sunday, John Means will make his first start since the death of his father on August 7th. The Orioles will make a roster move to add him.