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Orioles minor league recap 8/26: John Means, Seth Johnson keep TJ rehabs going

New York Mets v Baltimore Orioles
John Means business, and he might be back with the Orioles in two more starts.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 12, Durham (Rays) 9

After watching Cole Irvin pitch for last night, the imperative of John Means getting into a position to help this year’s Orioles rotation feels even more urgent to me. Means joined Norfolk to continue his rehab with a pitch limit of 70. There will presumably be one or two more rehab starts after this one.

In the runs allowed column, Means was fine, tossing 4.1 innings with a run only scoring on a solo home run. That sounds like John Means, all right. He gave up four hits overall, walked two, struck out two, and hit a batter. It does seem like there is some work left to be done. The Sun’s Jacob Calvin Meyer noted that Means’s fastball is about 2mph below what it was two years ago.

This was on track to be a stomping after the Tides scored eight runs in the bottom of the first inning, with the big blow coming as Daz Cameron hit a grand slam. However, Tides pitchers who followed Means were not willing to accept the offered blowout. We need not dwell on them any longer than to say that Logan Gillaspie’s role in this is part of why he may not have an Orioles 40-man roster spot for much longer. Erstwhile Oriole Tyler Wells was not part of the failure. He walked the leadoff man in the ninth before retiring the next three batters to get a save.

The Tides had 15 hits in this one, and they needed a lot of them. Happily for the prospect watchers among us, the cusp-of-MLB prospects contributed in a big way: Connor Norby had three hits, Heston Kjerstad had a pair of hits and collected two RBI as well, and Coby Mayo was on base four times thanks to two hits and two walks. On the flip side of this, Colton Cowser was 1-5, Joey Ortiz was 1-4, and Kyle Stowers was 0-4.

Norfolk box score.

Double-A: Erie (Tigers) 5, Bowie Baysox 3

It was a too little, too late kind of rally for Bowie, who scored a run in the eighth and two in the ninth, but since they hadn’t scored any before that, it wasn’t enough. This being a night where they went 1-11 with runners in scoring position probably had something to do with it.

The top three Bowie hitters - prospects Max Wagner, Jackson Holliday, and Jud Fabian - combined to go 1-13 in the game. Holliday was the only one of these guys with a hit, going 1-5. Fabian, as is his pattern, struck out three times. The other eight Bowie hits came from hitters lower in the order who are lesser prospects or aren’t prospects at all.

A pitching duo of Peter Van Loon and Alex Pham combined for the eight inning effort for Bowie. Van Loon allowed a two-run homer in the first inning. He finished a three inning outing with just those two runs allowed on 38 pitches thrown. Pham entered for bulk afterwards, tossing five innings, with three runs surrendered on five hits. The SeaWolves took Pham deep twice.

Baysox box score.

High-A: Hudson Valley (Yankees) 6, Aberdeen IronBirds 5

Another guy on the Tommy John rehab circuit is Zach Peek, who arrived in the organization back in the Dylan Bundy trade. Peek is not the happiest pitching line we’ll discuss tonight. He walked five batters over a start that lasted just 2.1 innings. He was charged with four runs, three earned in that time.

This put the IronBirds in an early hole, though they were able to close the gap later on despite collecting just five hits across the whole game. Prospect-wise, there is not much positive of interest in the box score. Creed Willems, playing first base, went 1-3. Samuel Basallo, at catcher in this contest, was 0-2 before being removed from the game. MASN’s Steve Melewski tweeted that Basallo took a foul tip off the mask and was taken out as a precaution.

Aberdeen box score.

Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds 4, Lynchburg (Guardians) 3

We wrap our daily roundup with another starting pitcher’s rehab. Down with Delmarva, it’s Seth Johnson, acquired in last year’s Trey Mancini three-team trade, who is making his way back to where he was. For Johnson, that was only High-A before needing Tommy John surgery. He tossed two scoreless innings for the Shorebirds, throwing 31 pitches while allowing just one hit. It is a fine continuation of his journey.

Second round pick Mac Horvath opened the scoring in the third inning with his second Low-A home run. He later added an RBI double, so he accounted for half of the Shorebirds offense. These hits, plus RBIs collected by first rounder Enrique Bradfield Jr. and later round catcher Cole Urman, were what got Delmarva enough runs to win. They ended up needing every bit of the 4-1 lead they took into the ninth, as Braxton Bragg surrendered two runs in that inning.

Bradfield, by the way, stole his 15th base just since joining the Shorebirds. He was also picked off one time, managing to get on base twice even though he was 0-3.

In relief of Johnson, Carter Baumler allowed a run across three innings. He gave up one hit and two walks while striking out three. Undrafted free agent Jack Maruskin struck out two in a pair of scoreless innings.

Delmarva box score.

Saturday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk: vs. Durham, 6:35. Starter: Garrett Stallings
  • Bowie: at Erie, 6:05. Starter: TBD
  • Aberdeen: at Hudson Valley, 6:05. Starter: A different TBD
  • Delmarva: vs. Lynchburg, 6:30. Starter: Luis De León