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Cedric Mullins returns to injured list with groin strain

Mullins hasn’t played in several days and now he won’t be playing for more beyond that

Miami Marlins v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Orioles are going to be without their starting center fielder for a little while longer. The team placed Cedric Mullins on the injured list before Wednesday’s finale against the Dodgers. The move, retroactive to July 16, was announced by the team as being due to a right adductor groin strain.

Those who have been paying close attention may note that this is the same injury that Mullins had when he was placed on the injured list the first timeback at the end of May. It’s not the same as what was announced when Mullins was lifted for a pinch runner several days ago after pulling something while running out what turned out to be a foul ball. The team announced right quad tightness at that time. The upper quad is not so far from the groin and it seems it was the groin again after all.

To some extent, this move was necessitated by the team needing an extra reliever after Tyler Wells had only a two-inning start on Tuesday and long man Cole Irvin was pressed into service for four innings. Perhaps if not for that, they could have kept waiting out Mullins’s injury, as they’d been doing for the previous The team had been carrying only 12 pitchers since the end of the All-Star break, when roster rules allow 13.

Now, righty reliever Logan Gillaspie has been recalled from Norfolk as the corresponding move for Mullins hitting the injured list. Things will probably have not gone well if Gillaspie is needed on Wednesday afternoon, but the team does still need reinforcements for when things don’t go well. Gillaspie has a 6.00 ERA in 11 appearances for the O’s this season.

There is no immediate indication from the team as to a hoped-for time frame for Mullins’s absence. The last time, he did not play between May 29 and June 24. If he is out for a comparable amount of time, we won’t see him again until mid-August. The Orioles will have to hope they can find a way to replace his presence. At 2.3 bWAR, he’s been the fourth-most valuable Oriole to date. They’ll miss him in the lineup, on the bases, and in center field. It won’t be easy. Hopefully they can hold on without him again.