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Saturday Bird Droppings: Orioles injuries are piling up

O’s lose, Mountcastle to the IL, Mateo has impressesed, and Bannon is relaxed.

Kansas City Royals v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Good morning, Birdland!

You can’t win ‘em all, and the Orioles are proof of that. They fell 4-2 to begin a weekend series in Detroit on Friday night. While it was not Jordan Lyles’s finest outing, it wasn’t dreadful either. Instead, it would have been nice to see the offense step up a bit. They went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 14 runners on base.

But it’s tough to be too upset with them given the lineup that was trotted out for the game. There was no Ryan Mountcastle, Austin Hays, or Ramon Urías. That’s three of the most important members of the offense missing.

Mountcastle’s absence was due to a wrist injury that had been bothering him for a couple of days, and it finally pushed him to the IL on Friday. Hays took a day off to allow a deep cut on his wrist to heal. And Urías continues to sort out an abdominal strain suffered during batting practice in St. Louis, and he did pinch hit late on Friday.

But it’s not just the position players that are hampered. The Orioles have already lost two starting pitchers (John Means, Chris Ellis) to season-ending injuries. On top of that, Dean Kremer and Alex Wells, two arms expected to contribute bulk innings, are out as well.

That injury bug extends to the minors as well, where several high-profile prospects have dealt with extended time on the shelf. Adley Rutschman looks to be all healed from his forearm troubles, as does Yusniel Diaz from his hamstring. But it’s possible that both of them would already be in Baltimore if 100%.

All teams deal with injuries, so this is not an excuse of any poor play on the Orioles part. But losing your ace for the year, waiting on your top prospect, and then missing the middle of your lineup for an unknown amount of time is a pretty tough hand to play.


Oriole place Mountcastle on injured list; Hays out with hand injury; López returns to bullpen | Baltimore Baseball
More information on all of the roster movement ahead of the Tigers series. It is nice to have Jorge López back, which is a sentence that seemed unlikely ever to be uttered back when he was struggling in the rotation every fifth day.

With subtle swing changes and a ‘five-tool’ skill set, Jorge Mateo has locked down the Orioles’ everyday shortstop role | The Baltimore Sun
I’m not sure I would label Jorge Mateo with a “five-tool” skill set exactly, but he does bring a few intriguing abilities to the O’s lineup. His defense has been terrific, and he is one of the fastest players in baseball. That is plenty to keep him as the club’s starting shortstop for this year and possibly even next.

Rylan Bannon relaxed and “just playing ball” | MASN Sports
He is not one of the biggest names in the Orioles minor league system, but it is always neat to see a position player get a shot in the big leagues. With Gunnar Henderson and Jordan Westburg lined up for 2023 debuts, this is the season for Rylan Bannon to show what he can do. There is no reason that Chris Owings or Rougned Odor should be getting innings ahead of him if/when the roster gets healthy.

Orioles birthdays

Is it your birthday? Happy birthday!

  • Dennis Martínez turns 68 today. The right-handed pitcher spent 11 solid seasons in Baltimore from 1976-86. He was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in 2002, and then was added to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016.
  • Les Moss (d. 2012) was born on this day in 1925. The catcher came with the club from St. Louis and stuck around Baltimore from 1954-55, appearing in 79 total games as an Oriole.

This day in O’s history

1967 - Orioles pitcher Stu Miller gives up the 500th home run of Mickey Mantle’s career. Mantle becomes just the sixth major leaguer to hit that many long balls in a career.