The Orioles announced Monday that they’ve selected the contract of left-hander John Means from Triple-A Norfolk. In order to open a spot on the 40-man roster, Baltimore recalled outfielder Austin Hays and placed him on the Major League 60-day disabled list. Hays underwent ankle surgery earlier this month.
Means, 25, split the 2018 season between Double-A (46 innings) and Triple-A (111 1/3 innings), working to a combined 3.72 ERA with with 7.4 K/9 against just 1.8 BB/9. He’s not considered to be among the organization’s top prospects, but he’d have been Rule 5 eligible this offseason after a solid season in the upper minors. Given the thin state of the team’s pitching depth, the Orioles likely would’ve added him to the 40-man roster this winter anyhow.
[Related: Baltimore Orioles depth chart]
Means has worked almost exclusively as a starter throughout his career since being selected in the 11th round of the 2014 draft, and he’ll quite likely be in the mix for a spot on the big league roster next spring. At present, Dylan Bundy, Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner are the three locks for rotation spots in 2018, health permitting, with Means, Josh Rogers, Luis Ortiz, David Hess, Jimmy Yacabonis and Yefry Ramirez among the names who’ll vie for additional opportunities. It’s also possible that Means could eventually be looked at as a potential bullpen piece; he held left-handed opponents to an awful .209/.246/.312 line in 2018 but yielded a .295/.331/.423 slash to opposing righties.