BALTIMORE—The Orioles hoped that starter John Means would be pitching by now. Means had Tommy John surgery in April 2022, and was ramping up for a rehab assignment when he injured his back in Sarasota, and he’s been in a holding pattern.
Means has been throwing off the mound, manager Brandon Hyde said on Friday, but a day later he didn’t offer any clarity about what sort of role could be ahead for Means.
“We haven’t even discussed that yet,” Hyde said about Means. “We just want to see him get healthy and figure out where we are roster-wise, where we are in the rotation, where we are in the bullpen.
“It’s different now in September. Rules are way different. I don’t know what our roster is going to look like by the time he’s ready. It’s still a ways away.”
Major league teams will add two players on September 1st. The Orioles are currently carrying 12 pitchers and 14 position players, allowing Hyde five bench players, a composition he’d like to keep.
“I’m trying to get as many guys in as I can,” Hyde said. “Every night is matchup-based, but I’m also trying to rotate guys and not have guys buried on the bench.”
Mountcastle facing lefthanders: Ryan Mountcastle, who returned last Sunday after being on the injured list because of vertigo, is in the starting lineup for the first time since June 8th. He’ll be facing left-hander Braxton Garrett as the designated hitter.
Hyde said that he’ll decide before each game whether Mountcastle will play.
“He’ll definitely be in there against left-handed pitching,” Hyde said. “If he doesn’t start he’ll be available off the bench versus left or versus right. I’m sure he’ll get starts against right-handed. We’ll see how the second half goes.”
Rain delays mount: Oriole games have been delayed for 12 hours, 30 minutes this season, and Hyde said his players have gotten used to delayed starts and interrupted games.
“We have a ton of card players in our clubhouse,” Hyde said. “There’s a lot of games going on. That’s extremely helpful when you have guys that can keep themselves occupied with a good attitude. Even if there’s a rain delay, ‘We’re OK. We need to finish this card game.’”
The Orioles didn’t have a rain delay at home until June 23rd, but since then they’ve had six.
“We didn’t have anything for the first couple of months, and then we’ve had some bad luck here the past couple of weeks. Guys are used to it by now,” Hyde said.
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