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SEATTLE–Centerfielder Cedric Mullins, who last played on July 15th, has been activated from the 10-day injured list. For the second time this season, Mullins went on the injured list because of a right adductor groin strain.
Mullins missed nearly four weeks in each of his two stints on the injured list.
“It’s a matter of continuing to stay healthy,” Mullins said. “It’s hard to describe what the plan is…I know when I step on the field, I’m 100 percent go.
“Injuries are never fun to deal with, but I know this time around, my confidence level when it came to running, and when I started back up was a lot smoother than the first time, so I felt like in terms of the recovery, what we did was beneficial to keep me around.”
Initially, Mullins didn’t think the most recent injury was as bad as the first.
“The feeling was if I more or less tweaked it this time instead of the full strain. It still resulted in the strain, but I didn’t think it was as bad. I gave it more time to fully recover, strengthen it was more the focus this time around,” Mullins said. “Feeling ready to go and excited to be back…I know there are going to be a lot of discussions on how I’m feeling day-to-day, the approach, the plan for the rest of the season, postseason.”
In 69 games, he’s batting .259 with nine home runs and 47 RBIs. Mullins has stolen 14 bases in 17 attempts.
“I’m very ready. During the rehab and the rehab assignments, I’ve been watching the guys do their thing out there,” Mullins said. “Seeing a lot of guys have some fun, ready to get back in it.”
During his most recent absence, manager Brandon Hyde has been batting Adley Rutschman in the leadoff spot, which had been Mullins’ spot, though he had often hit lower in the lineup.
“He’s doing his thing. I know he’s a high on-base guy,” Mullins said. “Not as much of a stolen base threat. Sometimes it doesn’t matter in a leadoff guy. I know I’m in the five-hole. I’m going to have a couple of RBI opportunities, and hoping to cash in.”
To make room for Mullins, the Orioles optioned outfielder Ryan McKenna to Triple-A Norfolk after Thursday’s game. McKenna hit .248 with two home runs and 14 RBIs in 73 games.
Outfielder Aaron Hicks, who’s on a rehab assignment with Norfolk at Jacksonville, is expected back on Monday when the Orioles play at San Diego. He’s recovering from a left hamstring strain.
The Orioles also recalled left-hander Nick Vespi from the Tides and optioned right-hander Joey Krehbiel to Norfolk.
Vespi has a 3.00 earned-run average in five games with the Orioles this season. He’s 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA and seven saves for Norfolk.
“Sticking to the same routine, just go down there, stay healthy, stay strong, stay sharp and when my name is called, come up here and help this team win,” Vespi said.
It’s Vespi’s fourth stint with the Orioles this season.
“It’s tough at times, but it comes with the job,’ Vespi said. “Hopefully one day I can stick up here and be an everyday guy, but until then, I’ll keep my nose down and wait for the opportunity.’
Krehbiel, who was optioned on Tuesday after the arrival of Jacob Webb, was added to the roster on Wednesday when Danny Coulombe when on the injured list with left biceps tendinitis. He pitched 1 2/3 spotless innings for the Orioles.
Coloumbe said he’d been dealing with the injury of about a week.
“We decided the best way to deal with it was giving it 15 days to cool down,” he said. “Be ready for the stretch run.”
He thinks he’ll be ready when he’s eligible to return.
“We’re taking it a day at a time. I don’t want to give it an exact timetable, but we’re pretty optimistic that it’s a shorter thing than a long er thing,” Coulombe said. “It’s not something I’m overly worried about.”
Kevin Brown returns: After not appearing on an Orioles telecast since July 23rd, Kevin Brown will return to Orioles MASN broadcasts on Friday night. Jim Palmer, who was scheduled to work with Brown for this series, will be absent because of Covid.
The Orioles pulled Brown from telecasts because he cited statistics about the team’s poor play in recent seasons, according to reports. Brown, who has been with the Orioles’ broadcasts since 2019, cited a statistic on the July 23rd telecast from Tropicana Field that summarized the team’s recent substandard performance there from 2020-2022.
Brown addressed his absence in three Twitter posts:
“O’s fans – I’m a storyteller. And never want to be a part of the story. The most compelling story in baseball right now is the story of the league-leading Baltimore Orioles – the best, most exciting young team in the American League.”
“I ask that everyone disregard the distracting noise of the past few days. I have worked closely with O’s SVP Greg Bader for the past four years, and John Angelos and I have a solid dialogue based on mutual respect. We are all good here in Birdland!”
“I am proud to be an Oriole and call Baltimore home, and there is no place in baseball I’d rather be now and for the long haul. Go O’s!”
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