Bautista plays catch, but Hyde says there's no update on Oriole closer; Means to throw bullpen session on Saturday - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Bautista plays catch, but Hyde says there’s no update on Oriole closer; Means to throw bullpen session on Saturday

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan USA TODAY Sports

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BOSTON—For the second time since he suffered an injury to his ulna collateral ligament on August 25th, Oriole closer Félix Bautista played catch before Friday night’s game at Fenway Park.

Bautista was placed on the 15-day injured list the day after he injured his elbow, and there hasn’t been an update on his condition since executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias spoke about it on August 26th.

“Early indications are that he has some degree of injury to the ulna collateral ligament,” Elias said. “It is less than 24 hours right now. That’s all I got. He’s going on the IL. We don’t have a plan beyond that. We have not firmed up any type of timetable.”

Bautista has been traveling with the team and staying in the dugout during games.

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Manager Brandon Hyde said that the All-Star’s pregame activity isn’t significant.

“It’s not really, honestly,” Hyde said. “Played catch. We’re going to see how he feels. We’re just kind of monitoring it day-to-day. It was just kind of a  ‘see how he feels, play a little catch today.’ I wouldn’t put any emphasis, positive or negative … He was playing a little bit of catch, see how he feels today.”

Hyde said that Bautista played catch “a couple of days ago in Anaheim, but like I said, I wouldn’t put any stock into it.”

Means to throw Saturday: Pitcher John Means’ rehab stint has ended, and he’ll throw a bullpen session at Fenway Park on Saturday.

“He’s going to be looked at by our medical staff, pitching coaches, then we’ll go from there,” Hyde said. “We’ll see how he is after the bullpen tomorrow.”

Means had Tommy John surgery in April 2022 and hasn’t pitched since. In his final rehab start, Means allowed two runs on four hits in five innings for Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday.

“It’s a huge moment for him,” Hyde said. “Tommy John is one of those things where he’s missed 16, 17 months of not pitching. It’s not easy to be thrown right in the middle of September in a pennant race. It’s exciting for us to have Meansy back in uniform and watch his side tomorrow and go from there.”

Notes: The Orioles’ magic number to clinch a postseason berth is eight. … Oriols starter Kyle Gibson was named as the club’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for his off-the-field activities. … Norfolk infielder Joey Ortiz’s left oblique tightness is improving and he continues to be day-to-day.

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