Orioles move Lopez to bullpen; Mountcastle on hitting streak; Hunter Harvey update - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles move Lopez to bullpen; Mountcastle on hitting streak; Hunter Harvey update

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

BALTIMORE-Manager Brandon Hyde has decided to move starter Jorge López into the bullpen. López, who has a 3-14 record with a 6.35 ERA, lasted just two innings at Tampa Bay on Thursday, allowing two runs on four hits. His velocity was noticeably down.

“I just think he needs to try to something different,” Hyde said. “We’re not closing the door on him from being in the rotation. I’d like to take a look to see what it looks like coming from the bullpen. He’s gone through a lot and I think this might take some pressure off of him, putting him in the bullpen for a little while.”

López’s turn in the rotation would come on August 25th when the Orioles are scheduled to face Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels. For now, Hyde said he’s not sure who will start, but he did mention newly acquired Chris Ellis, who has started in the minor leagues. Ellis, who threw four scoreless innings of one-hit ball against the Orioles for Tampa Bay on Tuesday, reported to the club on Saturday.

“I have no idea what we’re doing,” Hyde said about the rotation. “I just talked to Lopie at length about it yesterday, and we’re going to figure it out. I just want to do the best thing for Lopie is the bottom line, and I think it’s to be in the bullpen for a little while and see what it looks like.”

López is available for Saturday night’s game.

Hyde thinks sitting between games as a starter hasn’t been the best thing for López.

“I brought it up to him as an idea, and when we talked through it, he [decided he’d] like to explore. He was up for it.”

Mountcastle gets hot: Ryan Mountcastle begins Saturday with a 12-game hitting streak. Mountcastle’s streak began on July 28. On August 6th, he suffered a concussion when he was tagged on his head while trying to steal second. He went on the concussion injured list and returned on Tuesday.

“It wasn’t fun. The first couple of days were rough, not being able to play,” Mountcastle said. “The way I was feeling, it wasn’t very fun. Now, I’m glad that I’m back out there with no significant damage.”

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Mountcastle is hitting .264 with 20 homers and 64 RBIs.

“I was a little nervous going into the first game [after the concussion],” he said. “I hadn’t seen any live pitching in nine or 10 days. I put the ball in play my first at-bat, and said; ‘I think I’m still all right.'”

Mountcastle is feeling more comfortable at first base. He’s been the designated hitter only once since July 25th and hasn’t started in left field since June 20th.

“We worked on a lot of outfield during spring,” he said. “Now, we’re transitioning mostly to first, getting a bunch of extra work in out here and feeling a lot more comfortable.”

After games, Mountcastle often spends time signing autographs for fans. With fans not allowed into ballparks until an hour before game time and extra protective netting, it’s harder for fans to get autographs. He’ll stand behind home plate and sign for the remaining fans. He has been joined by Anthony Santander and some of the Orioles’ young pitchers.

“I like to go out there and meet some of the fans and talk to them,” Mountcastle said. “Sign some of their stuff and make their day a little bit better. We obviously don’t like to lose, but if we lose and the fans are a little bit upset, if I sign something for them, it won’t be as bad. I just like interacting with people.

“I’m all for it. I like doing it. Most times before the game, they’re yelling at me, but I like to have my routine. I usually don’t sign before the game, but after the game, I’ll come out and sign.”

Hunter Harvey update: In his second rehab outing for Triple-A Norfolk, Hunter Harvey allowed a run on a hit and struck out one as the Tides lost to Charlotte, 7-5.

Harvey, who has been on the 10-day injured list because of a lat injury, could return to the Orioles or have another rehab outing.

Alexander Wells pitched five shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out three.

Centerfielder Ryan McKenna continued his hot hitting with his 10th home run. He stole two bases and scored three runs.

Adam Plutko allowed three runs on four hits in two innings.

Injury update: DJ Stewart, who’s missed the last three games because of knee soreness, isn’t in the lineup against the left-handed Drew Smyly on Saturday night, but he’s ready t0 play, Hyde said.

“He’s available off the bench,” Hyde said. “I’m just going to give him an extra day. He’s probably going to be in there tomorrow.”

Santander, who didn’t play in Friday’s game because of a sore left ankle, is back in the lineup. He missed a month of action earlier in the season because of the ankle.

“It’s one of these things that’s just been lingering all season,” Hyde said. “It’s probably not going to get right until he gets significant time off. I give him a lot of credit, our medical team and our trainers for managing this throughout the season. It’s been tough. He has good days and he has bad days.

“Ankles are tricky and, hopefully, this offseason he can get rest and come back to spring training healthy.”

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

 

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. OhMy!

    August 21, 2021 at 6:28 pm

    I suggest sending Wade and Watkins to Norfolk and promote Baumann and Burdi to see what they can do at the MLB level. Hoping Lopez is lights out the rest of the year out of the bullpen – Sulser, Tate, Fry, Scott, T. Wells, and Lopez out of the pen has the great potential IMO.

  2. dlgruber1

    August 21, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    “I have no idea what we’re doing,” Hyde said about the rotation.
    Gotta love the honesty.

    • Icterus fan

      August 21, 2021 at 7:01 pm

      That just means he’s out of spin. When contrasting what is said vs what we see, I mean the emperor has no clothes. The guy is out of smoke and mirrors. The calamity reflects the reality, what else does he have in his post interview bag of tricks? Nice to hear some candor rather than piling on more patronizing sleight of hand BS. I salute him for his honesty.

    • DcOsfan

      August 21, 2021 at 7:57 pm

      Love the honesty, but anyone who has no idea about his club’s rotation has no business being a manager. Bring on Buck!

      • Buzz1979

        August 21, 2021 at 9:03 pm

        Britton, you mean, not vanilla .500.

    • Icterus fan

      August 21, 2021 at 8:03 pm

      Pretty sure that specific excerpt was directed toward the handling/future of Lopez. One member of the rotation, and a moving target at best currently.

    • DcOsfan

      August 21, 2021 at 8:08 pm

      Doesn’t matter. If he is moving a starter to the bullpen he should have a plan.

    • DcOsfan

      August 21, 2021 at 9:19 pm

      Yes Britton!

    • Icterus fan

      August 22, 2021 at 7:35 am

      DC, I get your point, and you’re right – it’s obvious that he shouldn’t say “I have no idea what we’re doing”. Not a good sound bite and no one in leadership should let that slip.
      Not a defense of Hyde, just wonder if that was blurted into a hot mic in the midst of frustration.
      Yes, he should have a plan. Maybe he does now?

  3. Buzz1979

    August 21, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    Soler is batting 15 points lower than Mario Mendoza’s career average!

  4. cedar

    August 22, 2021 at 6:25 am

    Personally, isn’t Hyde’s comment on the rotations a reflection of what gets commented on here about the pitching pretty much every day?

    I’d like to see Tyler Wells get a few turns in the rotation. And is this years’ surprise player going to be Diplan? 7 games, 11 innings, no runs with a .49 WHIP?!

  5. mlbbirdfan

    August 26, 2021 at 8:39 am

    FROM TAMPA BAY TIMES JOHN ROMANO AUG 26
    “You can add Shawn Armstrong to the list of reclamation projects in the Rays bullpen. When the Rays purchased him from the Orioles for cash at the trade deadline in July, Armstrong had an 8.55 ERA with a WHIP of 1.900. In five innings with the Rays, he has a 1.80 ERA with a 0.400 WHIP. It’s still an incredibly small sample size. But Armstrong, who got the win in relief on Sunday, seems to be throwing his fastball/cutter more and has virtually abandoned the slider he had been using in Baltimore.”

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