BALTIMORE—In the Orioles’ 147th game, manager Brandon Hyde is using his 129th different batting order, and Cedric Mullins, who has batted leadoff 129 times, is not in the lineup while Gunnar Henderson is the leadoff batter for the first time.
Hyde is giving Mullins a day off against Detroit left-handed starter Joey Wentz.
Henderson, who’s 21 years, 83 days old, is the youngest leadoff batter in Major League Baseball since San Diego’s Fernando Tatis Jr. on August 13th, 2019. Tatis was 20 years and 223 days old.
“We’ve had a tough time against left-handed pitching, especially as of late,” Hyde said. “I just like the swings he’s been taking, giving it a try. I’d like to see him be at the top of the order and get as many at-bats as possible.”
Henderson is also the fifth-youngest player in Orioles history to bat leadoff , and the youngest since Manny Machado did it at 21 years, 78 days on September 22nd, 2013.
Wells staying in rotation: Tyler Wells has thrown 103 2/3 innings in his first season as a major league starter. On Monday night, he threw only three-plus innings in his third start since returning from a left oblique injury.
Wells threw 119 1/3 innings in 2018, the year before he had Tommy John surgery, and Hyde is expecting to see Wells continue in the starting rotation. With 16 games remaining, Wells should have three starts.
“As of right now, he’s starting his next start,” Hyde said. “That hasn’t changed. It’s going to be start-to-start. There’s no consideration to shutting him down right now or anything like that. We haven’t even discussed it, honestly. Right now, he’s making his next start.”
Rodriguez update: Fans eager to see Grayson Rodriguez pitch for the Orioles will have to continue to wait.
Rodriguez, the top pitching prospect in minor league baseball, will start for Trpile-A Norfolk on Wednesday night at Durham. The Tides’ season ends on September 28th. The Orioles’ season runs through October 5th.