NEW YORK—Outfielder Austin Hays isn’t in the Orioles’ lineup for the fourth straight game. He bruised his left hip in a collision on Sunday with Minnesota first baseman Donovan Solano hours after he found out he was an American League All-Star.
“I’m feeling a lot better today,” Hays said. “I’m going out there for [batting practice], try to go through some throwing, go to the outfield, take some swings, see where we’re at. As far as moving around and doing day-to-day stuff, it feels a lot better. A lot of that soreness that I had is pushed out of there, so I’m going to move around and do baseball activities today.”
Hays was initially concerned he might have cost himself an appearance in the All-Star Game.
“I knew I had swallowed that knee fairly hard,” Hays said. “I tried to play through it, and I felt like I wasn’t really any use to anybody out there. I felt I had to come out of the game. Sitting in there, I was like, ‘That good news was kind of short-lived.’ I really didn’t know where we were going to be at. All of the scans came back clean, so I dodged a bullet.
“If it would have been higher, it could have been serious. Not a great spot, but it could have been a lot worse. Could have been worse news to get, but definitely would have not liked this to happen on the day I found out [about the All-Star selection].”
Hays has had several injuries that have cost him playing time through the years and was hoping this wouldn’t be another one. Twins third baseman Jose Miranda threw wildly and Solano had to scramble and he collided with Hays.
“It’s just another one of those plays where I’m running hard down the line and I know Miranda has been struggling a little bit defensively, so I wanted to try to put some pressure on him,” Hays said. “It was a tough throw into the line there. There was really nothing Solano could do there. He’s just trying to knock the ball down.
“It’s one of those plays. I don’t think there’s any way to avoid it. You see the first baseman leave his feet, and you go low. When I saw him jumping, really no way to get out of the way of that collision. Bad luck, nothing I thought I could do differently to avoid it.”
Hays is planning to play in the Orioles’ three-game series in Minnesota beginning on Friday night and then go to Seattle for the All-Star Game on July 11th.
“I’m feeling a lot better, and that’s the hope,” Hays said. “We’ll see how this stuff goes today. I’m hoping I can check a lot of stuff off the list and I’ll be right back in. We’ve just got to see where we’re at … I’m planning on playing before the All-Star Game, just got to check a couple of things off the box. I think we’ll be in a good place.”
Henderson makes the call: YES camera operator Pete Stendel is home and resting a day after he was struck in the head by a wild throw from shortstop Gunnar Henderson. Stendel suffered an orbital fracture in his face.
Henderson called Stendel to wish him well.
“We give him our best and hope he has a speedy recovery,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Tough to watch. The hush of the crowd for a while kind of said it all, what was happening, how serious it was, how scary. Good to hear that he’s doing much better today. Nice that Gunnar reached out to him today.”
Minor awards: Grayson Rodriguez was named the International League Pitcher of the Month for June. Rodriguez was 4-0 with a 2.22 ERA in five starts for Norfolk, striking out 39 batters in 28 1/3 innings. He held opponents to a .164 average.
Coby Mayo was named the Eastern League Player of the Month. Mayo, who plays first and third base, hit .340 with eight home runs and 15 RBIs for Bowie. He had 1.178 OPS in June.
Notes: The Orioles traded right-hander Chris Vallimont to the Cleveland Guardians for cash considerations. Vallimont made his major league debut on Monday, allowing a hit and recording two outs and was designated for assignment on Tuesday. … Orioles first baseman Ryan O’Hearn stole his first career base in the first inning on Wednesday. O’Hearn’s first steal came in his 384th game. … Outfielder Aaron Hicks was a late scratch.