PHILADELPHIA-The Orioles placed outfielder Aaron Hicks on the 10-day injured list because of a strained left hamstring muscle on Tuesday.
Hicks sustained the injury in the third inning of Monday night’s 3-2 victory over Philadelphia, making a catch on a ball hit by the Phillies’ Johan Rojas.
“As soon as I went into my dive, that’s where it started to hurt,” Hicks said. “I feel like at the end of the 10 days I should be good. Obviously last night, I thought it was just a cramp, and then I woke up this morning, not really feeling that great. Had to go get an MRI today. Obviously that landed me on the IL
“I’ve never had this before. I’ve strained my hamstring pretty well, but it never really felt like this to where I only thought it was a cramp yesterday and then I woke up today and didn’t feel great.”
Hicks is the second Orioles centerfielder to be placed on the injured list in the last week. Cedric Mullins was placed on the on the injured list on July 19th, retroactive to the 16th, because of a right adductor groin strain.
The Orioles recalled outfielder Ryan McKenna from Triple-A Norfolk to replace Hicks, who was batting .252 with six home runs and 20 RBIs in 42 games with the Orioles. He had been the replacement for Mullins, who is on the injured list for a second time.
McKenna hit .253 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in 62 games with the Orioles before he was sent down when Colton Cowser was recalled on July 5th.
“It wasn’t necessarily something I thought about before,” McKenna said. “I was just trying to do what I could. I know what type of player I can be and help this team win every day. That’s what my focus was every day, just ready and happy to be back.”
During his 12 games at Norfolk, McKenna was hitting .217 with three home runs and seven RBIs.
“I don’t think there was any confidence that was lost,” McKenna said. “There’s a lot of good players here. I know that I’m a big leaguer, just staying ready and being prepared for an opportunity.”
Cowser will starts in center field on Tuesday night against the Phillies. Manager Brandon Hyde said that in addition to Cowser and McKenna, Austin Hays can play center.
“It’s really unfortunate that Hicks is going to be down for a little bit, but I feel good about our other options,” Hyde said. “I think Colton, especially against right-handed pitching, Colton probably will get the bulk of the bulk of the center field time while Hicksy and Cedric are out.”
19 of 22 draft picks sign: In the final hours before the 5 p.m. deadline for signing 2023 draft picks, the Orioles signed two more players. Florida State right-hander Jackson Burmeister signed for a reported $1,605,100, which was over slot value, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis. Burmeister was the 63rd overall pick in the Competitive Balance Round B.
They also signed right-hander Michael Forret, their 14th-round pick. Forret was signed for $450,000, according to Callis. He went to Sarasota’s State College of Florida.
The Orioles signed 19 of their 22 picks. Outfielder Qrey Lott, their 15th-round pick, will go to college, right-hander Tanner Witt, their 18th-round pick, will return to the University of Texas, and their 19th-round pick, shortstop Kollin Ritchie, an Oklahoma high school player, will presumably go to college.
Spring training schedule: The Orioles will open Grapefruit League play against the Boston Red Sox on February 24th in Sarasota.
They’ll play 16 home games, including seven against their four American League East opponents — Boston, New York, Tampa Bay and Toronto. They’ll play six games against Pittsburgh, three in Sarasota and three at Bradenton. They’ll also host Atlanta, Detroit, Minnesota and Philadelphia.
The final scheduled game is on March 24th at Fort Myers against the Minnesota Twins.
Notes: Double-A Bowie was held to two hits in a 6-0 loss to Somerset that was ended by rain after six innings. … Left-hander DL Hall pitched a scoreless inning, walking one at striking out two for the Florida Complex League Orioles in their 7-6 loss to the FCL Rays.