BALTIMORE—Jorge López was placed on the 10-day injured list because of a sprained right ankle on Tuesday, and the Orioles called up one of their top pitching prospects, right-hander Mike Baumann, from Triple-A Norfolk.
López, who had been throwing in relief in the past few weeks, injured the ankle when receiving a throw and stepping awkwardly on first base in the eighth inning of Monday’s game.
“He’s going to miss a lot of time,” manager Brandon Hyde said about what appears to be a season-ending injury. “It’s a big loss for us, the way he was throwing out of the bullpen.”
López had a 2.16 ERA in eight relief appearances after going 3-14 with a 6.35 ERA as a starter.
“He’s getting more tests right now, but it’s a sprained ankle, and he’s going to be out a while,” Hyde said. “It’s disappointing because he was throwing the ball so well.
“I’m really excited with, if this is the end of the season, with how he ended it,” Hyde said. “Really good appearances out of the bullpen, feels good. The stuff was really good again there. It’s a big loss for us.”
Hyde declined to speculate on whether López’s role in 2022 would be as a starter or reliever.
“I wouldn’t know at this point,” Hyde said. “We haven’t talked about it, yet.”
Baumann, who was the Orioles’ third-round draft pick in 2017, was 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA in 18 starts with Low-A Delmarva, Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. Most recently, Baumann was 1-1 with a 2.00 ERA in six starts with the Tides.
“We’re going to pitch him out of the bullpen to start,” Hyde said. “It’s going to be more of a bullpen role, so you’re going to see him have extended innings out of the bullpen, but things could change here in the next few weeks, but as of right now, he’s going to be a multi-innings guy.
“I’ve only see him throw a few times in spring training. He’s got a great arm. He’s somebody we’re really high on, somebody who had a really good start the last start at Norfolk. Seeing him this afternoon, he’s pumped to be here. Looking forward to watching him make his debut here in the next couple of days. We’re evaluating everybody, but it’s good for him to get his feet wet these next three weeks and we’re excited to give him that opportunity.”
Baumann, who was a college teammate of Austin Hays at Jacksonville University, said about the promotion: “It’s all been a blur here these past 24 hours.”
Baumann had a flexor mass tendon injury at the alternate site at Bowie last summer, and the Orioles have been cautious with him this season.
“There’s been some ups and there’s been some downs,” Baumann said. “Looking at it these past couple of months, I’ve definitely become a better pitcher because of it. I wouldn’t change the experiences I had at the beginning of the season for anything. It made this moment a lot more sweeter.
“I just want to enjoy this moment. I’ve been working my whole life for this. I’m going to live it up. I’m in a big league stadium with great teammates here.”
More moves: The Orioles also optioned right-hander Zack Burdi, who pitched a scoreless ninth inning on Monday in his only outing with the team, and purchased the contract of right-hander Manny Barreda from Norfolk.
Barreda, a 32-year-old right-hander, was selected in the 12th round of the 2007 draft by the New York Yankees. He has pitched in the Yankees, Braves and Brewers organizations. He was 1-2 with one save and a 4.19 ERA in 23 games for Norfolk
Right-handed reliever Hunter Harvey, who has been on the 10-day injured list because of a right lat strain, has been moved to the 60-day injured list because of a strained right triceps.
If Barreda and Baumann appear in a game, the Orioles will equal the franchise record of 58 players used in a season set in 2019. They’d be the 15th and 16th players to make their major league debut, which would break the franchise record of 15 in 2018.
Notes: Trey Mancini, who was out of the lineup on Monday because of “general soreness,” according to Hyde, is getting better and could be available off the bench. … Infielder Ramón Urias, who didn’t play on Monday because of upper leg soreness, is also improving. … Outfielder Kyle Stowers has been promoted from Double-A Bowie to Triple-A Norfolk. Infielder Willy Yahn goes from High-A Aberdeen to Bowie. Outfielder Mason Janvrin and right-handed pitcher Jake Lyons move to Aberdeen from Low-A Delmarva. Outfielder Mishael Deson was promoted from the Florida Complex League to Delmarva. … Right-hander Matt Harvey and left-hander John Means will start the final two games of the Kansas City series Wednesday and Thursday. “We’ve gone start to start here with Harvey the last four or five starts,” Hyde said. “Whatever he’s given us in the second half has been a bonus. He’ll start tomorrow and then we’ll reevaluate after that.” … Left-hander Bruce Zimmermann, who’s on the 60-day injured list because of a sprained right ankle, will throw a side session in the next few days, Hyde said. The Orioles hope he’ll be able to see game action before the end of the season.