The Orioles aren’t ready to activate left-handed pitcher Keegan Akin and outfielder Anthony Santander from the Covid-19 injured list, even though the pair traveled to Detroit where the Orioles began a four-game series on Thursday night.
“We’re still evaluating that,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Akin threw a side yesterday, recovered well today. It’s kind of a crowded week. We’ll see what happens here in the next day and figure what to do with Keegan.
“Santander went through a full workday yesterday, went well, going to do the same thing again today, tracking some pitches from our pitchers throwing sides later this afternoon. He’ll get a full defensive day, just to get him back on his feet again, get running again and then take batting practicing, and then possibly joining us here again in the next day or two.”
Akin, who is 0-5 with an 8.19 ERA in 13 games, hasn’t pitched since July 16th. He declined to elaborate on whether he had a positive test.
“Just some stuff came up. Obviously, MLB protocols,” Akin said. “You’d rather be safe than sorry with that stuff. You have to follow those rules and go by those rules.”
Akin also declined to answer whether he’s been vaccinated.
“That’s kind of a personal question. I’m not really comfortable with answering that right now,” he said.
Santander, who is batting .231 with six home runs and 26 RBIs, also declined to elaborate on the reason for going on the injured list and his vaccination status.
“Something just came up. I was following the protocols that were established, and I had to leave for seven days,” he said through a translator.
Santander, who tested positive for Covid-19 in July 2020, went into quarantine in Miami.
“I was just in my room,” he said. “Trying to get as much work as I can do … work with the rubber bands and all that and drove from Miami to Baltimore.”
Santander, who missed a month because of a sprained right ankle, is hoping that his season turns around.
“I’m going to take the positive out of this,” he said. “I think it was beneficial for my ankle. I feel so much better now. This is a game of adjustments. I look to adjust accordingly as quickly as they’re adjusting to me and, hopefully, I can get back into action and help the team as quickly as possible.’
Santander said after Thursday’s practice that he felt fine.
“Now, I’m just waiting to hear back. It’s really up to them when they want to activate me, either tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. I’m ready to go.”
Akin said after he was placed on the injured list when the Orioles were in St. Petersburg on July 21st, he drove back to Baltimore.
“I threw into a lacrosse net for the last five or six days, just playing catch with a lacrosse net and running around there at the one of the parks in town,” he said. “Anything to get outside, get active and try to stay as best shape as possible with being away from the [team] facilities. It was definitely a unique situation.”
Akin doesn’t know if he’ll return to the starting rotation. Alexander Wells, Thursday’s starter against the Tigers, took Akin’s turn for the July 21st game at Tampa Bay.
“I’m obviously glad to travel and be with the team right now,” he said. “They’re just going to give me a couple of days to get back on my feet and throw a couple of bullpens and just kind of fine-tune some things and go from there.”
Akin could be put in the bullpen or sent to Triple-A Norfolk if he’s not starting.
“I didn’t get off to a good start in the spring,” Akin said. “A good learning point just overall with how it’s going, really. Just trying to stay positive with it, grind it out, and just learn from things and get better each day.”
With the trade deadline coming at 4 p.m. Friday, Santander said he’s not concerned.
“That’s really something that’s out there,” Santander said. “I haven’t spent a lot of time with it. It’s really a decision for them that they have to make. I want to stay here, so we’ll see.”
Injury Updates: Richie Martin is playing shortstop for Double-A Bowie at Richmond tonight. Martin, who’s on the 60-day injured list because of a broken left wrist, began his rehab assignment with one game in the Florida Complex League. … Shortstop Freddy Galvis, who’s on the 10-day injured list because of a right quadriceps strain ,remains in Sarasota to get at-bats, Hyde said. … Relief pitcher Tyler Wells, who’s on the injured list because of a tendinitis in his right wrist, played catch the last two days,and should have a bullpen session in the next few days, Hyde said.