Orioles' Means believes he can pitch again after 2nd Tommy John surgery - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ Means believes he can pitch again after 2nd Tommy John surgery

Photo Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

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BALTIMORE—Pitcher John Means has returned to the Orioles this weekend as a spectator. The 31-year-old left-hander had his second Tommy John surgery on June 3rd in Arlington, Texas, and he’s determined to come back from the procedure.

His first surgery, also performed by Dr. Keith Meister, was done in April 2022. He returned to start four games in 2023 and after a delayed start to 2024, four this season.

“I’m going to take it day-by-day,” Means said. “I’m going to try to do the best I can and get it right this time.”

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It wasn’t a hard decision for Means to have a second Tommy Johns surgery just over two years after his first.

“I was going to get the second one, no matter what,” Means said. “I still want to pitch, honestly. I’d like to fail on the field before I give it up. I feel like if I go there, I can still pitch and get outs. I still feel really confident about my ability. I have to have my elbow keep up.”

Means was 2-0 with a 2.61 earned-run average in four starts this season. In his fourth, on May 22nd, he came out of the game in St. Louis after three scoreless innings before rain delayed the game.

“I kind of knew in the bullpen, honestly,” Means said. “It had been hurting up until that outing. I was just trying to pitch through it, hoping it would loosen up. In the bullpen it didn’t feel any better than it did the day after I  pitched the last game.

“I wasn’t going to screw the bullpen, so I tried to go as long as I could. Luckily, the rain delay helped even out the playing field.”

The first rehab for Means was difficult, but he’s not afraid of a second one.

“We’ll see. I haven’t reached that point yet. The first couple of weeks are pretty easy. You’re not doing a whole lot,” Means said. “The monotony once you get down the road, we’ll see how that goes. For right now, I’m just trying to get the plan, get everything settled and see what happens.

“Hopefully, this is a little easier, hopefully put a little bit less pressure on it this time and just try to worry about the family and spending time with them.”

Means will be a free agent after this season, and the timing of the surgery makes pitching even at the tail end of the 2025 season a question.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t really want to think about it right now,” he said. “See where it goes. I feel really confident about my ability to pitch on the field.”

Means will do most of his rehab at his Dallas home and spend time with his wife, Caroline, and their son, McCoy.

Note: The Orioles assigned right-hander Corbin Martin to Triple-A Norfolk after he cleared outright waivers. They have 39 players on their 40-man roster.

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