Orioles outfielder Joey Rickard is expected to miss four to six weeks after suffering a thumb injury, Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com was among those to report (Twitter links). Though Rickard won’t require surgery, the ligament damage will keep him out through at least late August.
Earlier today, O’s executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette noted that while starting pitching remains the team’s priority, a DL stint for Rickard could lead the team to explore trade options for another outfielder. That, obviously, is now the case. Hyun Soo Kim is also currently shelved, leaving the team with Julio Borbon, Dariel Alvarez, and Nolan Reimold on hand to take the field alongside regulars Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo.
Rickard, 25, earned a roster spot out of camp and impressed in the early going. He has fallen off since, but it must be remembered that he’s a Rule 5 pick who has been given an unusually robust role on a contending team. Over 282 plate appearances, Rickard is carrying a .268/.319/.377 batting line, which rates to a middling 83 OPS+. Defensive metrics are not fond of his glovework, leading both Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference to value him at a half-win below replacement on the year.
With the rotation need taking precedence, and the O’s sporting big bats all over the lineup, it doesn’t seem that a major addition is in the offing. That being said, Baltimore has reportedly dabbled in the market for Jay Bruce — a player they’ve been connected to in the past — and could conceivably look for another impactful hitter over the next ten days, particularly if a starting pitching upgrade proves too costly.