Orioles activate Hicks, option Cowser to Norfolk; Machado happy to see team winning again - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Orioles activate Hicks, option Cowser to Norfolk; Machado happy to see team winning again

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan USA TODAY Sports


SAN DIEGO–Outfielder Aaron Hicks, who’d been on the 10-day injured list because of a strained left hamstring, was activated by the Orioles on Monday, and outfielder Colton Cowser was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk.

Hicks, who last played on July 24th, is batting .252 with six homers and 20 RBIs in 42 games since signing with the Orioles on May 30th after he was released by the New York Yankees.

“It feels good to be back with the team, not a bad place to come back to in sunny California,” Hicks said. “Ready to get going.”

Hicks was 1-for-8 in his two rehab games in Jacksonville with Norfolk.



“Hot, very hot, but I feel like I’m ready to go. I  played right field [on Saturday],” Hicks said. “I feel like my at-bats were good. I feel like I saw the ball well, and now I’m here.”

Hicks and centerfielder Cedric Mullins were both out for more than two weeks together, and the Orioles still lead the American League East by three games. Mullins helped on Sunday with a game-saving catch and a game-winning home run in a 5-3 win over the Mariners.

“It just proves how badly this team wants to win, different ways of winning, which is what you need in the postseason is to find ways to win,” Hicks said. “They’ve been able to do that. Playing with Cedric is always fun. Even watching him on TV making insane catches like the ones he did yesterday, I’m excited to be right beside him to see him live.”

The Orioles optioned Cowser, their first-round pick in 2021, who was hitting .115 (7-for-61) in 26 games since making his major league debut on July 5th. Cowser walked 13 times and had a .286 on-base percentage.

“It’s not always a terrible thing to have a guy come up here and experience what major league pitching is like, what the big league life is like, ” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Go through some adjustments when you go down to Triple-A.

“We saw Grayson [Rodriguez] do that and come back a different guy. Colton’s going to be a really good major league player. He got off to a really good start and then he got caught in between in his at-bats. I just want him to go down there to free his mind up and reset, relax and breathe and go take some at bats and not to produce up here and maybe we’ll see him soon. ”

Hyde thinks Cowser can make the necessary adjustments.

“He got off to a good start,” Hyde said. “He walking a time or two a game, getting some hits. I think the league got a little more aggressive early in the zone against him and he got caught in between. Once you get caught in between, you start looking for different pitches, just not able to relax in the batters’  box. I thought he was getting frozen up a little bit in his at-bats the last couple of weeks.

“To go down there, and clear your mind, and clear your head, go get some at-bats and hopefully come back.

Hicks thought there was something missing as well.

“I think it’s for him about rebuilding that confidence again,” Hicks said. “I feel like when he got up here he was being more passive. I want him to be more aggressive. When he walked in, he was having great at-bats. At the big league level, it comes down to being aggressive. For him, I just thought he was starting to lose his confidence. Once you lose that as a young player in the big leagues, it’s kind of tough to regain it.”

Machado happy for team’s success: It’s the first time the Orioles play the San Diego Padres since 2019, the year after third baseman Manny Machado was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, a trade that started the team’s rebuild.

“It takes me back to when I played there,” Machado said. “Winning baseball and, obviously, they brought back that culture. It’s been a big sports city for a long time. To see them go in and clean house and rebuild that in a short period of time and be where they’re at today is impressive.”

Machado marveled at how much the team has turned over.

“It’s definitely fast. I’ve never seen a team rebuild that quickly,” Machado said. “This year, they’ve shown they can take the East. It’s impressive to see in such a short period of time what they’re doing over there.”

Call for questions: I’ll be answering Orioles questions in the coming days. Please email yours to: [email protected].

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