BALTIMORE—John Means will not pitch in the American League Division Series, Orioles manager Brandion Hyde announced on Saturday. According to Hyde, Means “had a little bit of elbow soreness,” following Thursday’s simulated game.
“We fully expect him to be ready for next series. We just felt like we needed a few days off. He wouldn’t be ready for this series,” Hyde said. “We feel like he should ready for next series, if we get there, hopefully.”
The left-hander started four games in September after he rehabbed from April 2022 Tommy John surgery. Teams can reset their rosters before each round of the postseason.
“Meansy was going to be a candidate to start one of these games and it means we got—we feel great about our starting pitching depth.
“Dean [Kremer] and Kyle Gibson both threw the ball extremely well this year. We’re hoping that John can take a few days, off, rehab and hopefully if we can advance that he’ll be available for the next series.”
Kyle Bradish is starting Game 1 and Grayson Rodriguez is starting Game 2. Hyde declined to say which games Kremer and Gibson would start. Means is the only pitcher on the Orioles’ staff who has been with the team throughout its rebuild.
“Not concerning. I know he’s disappointed. He threw a two-inning sim game a couple of days ago and didn’t feel right. Pretty normal after a Tommy John process, and he’s thrown the ball extremely well. And we don’t’ want to take any chances, honestly with it.
“We felt the right thing to do was give him a few days off and get him ready for the Championship Series if we advance.”
The Orioles are carrying 14 position players and 12 pitchers. They’ll keep the same 14 position players they finished the regular season with. That means Heston Kjerstad is on the roster, but he’s not in the starting lineup against left-hander Andrew Heaney.
Texas didn’t decide on its starter for Game 1 until Friday night. Max Scherzer, who’s dealing with a strained right shoulder is not on the roster.
Reliever Shintaro Fujinami and left-hander Cole Irvin, who both finished the season on the roster aren’t on the Division Series roster. Bryan Baker has been added. Right-hander Jack Flaherty is on the roster.
Rodriguez ready for Game 2: Rodriguez made his major league debut in Texas on April 5th, not far from where he grew up in Nacogdoches. He allowed two runs on four hits in five innings, and it seems more than six months ago.
“You know that feels like it was a year ago, honestly,” Rodriguez said. “But you know, just kind of learning how to be a pitcher in the big leagues, how to go about each and every day, I think is the big thing.”
Rodriguez said he watched both Rangers and Houston Astros games as a child.
“Just being able to face a team like that is pretty special to me,” Rodriguez said. “It’s something I’ve been dreaming of for a while.”