Orioles infielder Richie Martin has a broken bone in his right wrist, manager Brandon Hyde told reporters (including Roch Kubatko of MASN) this morning. It seems he suffered the injury diving into a base during an intrasquad game yesterday. There’s no timetable for Martin’s return, but Dan Connolly of the Athletic tweets that the team expects him to be “out for a while.” He’ll begin the season on the injured list, confirms Joe Trezza of MLB.com (Twitter link).
The first pick in the 2018 Rule V draft, Martin stuck with the Orioles throughout the 2019 season. As with many Rule V selections, he looked overmatched at the plate, hitting just .208/.260/.322 (50 wRC+) in 309 plate appearances. Nevertheless, the Baltimore organization was sufficiently intrigued to carry him on the active roster all season and retain his rights long-term. The club did sign José Iglesias this offseason to solidify shortstop, but Martin looked to have a good chance to break camp with the club as a utility infielder, particularly in the absence of a minor-league season. Dilson Herrera, Andrew Velazquez, Pat Valaika and Stevie Wilkerson are among the other utility options on the O’s player pool.
Hyde also provided updates on a handful of other injured players in camp. Left-hander Ty Blach has some soreness in his elbow and will go for an ominous-sounding “second opinion,” Hyde says (via Kubatko). The former Giant is in camp as a non-roster invitee. Meanwhile, right-handed reliever Dillon Tate has elbow soreness of his own, but he remains day-to-day.
Hyde also acknowledged yesterday (via Rich Dubroff of Baltimore Baseball) the club may be without outfielders Anthony Santander and Dwight Smith, Jr. in the season’s early going. For undisclosed reasons, neither has yet participated in team workouts. Naturally, that will lead to some speculation about COVID-19 protocolos, but it’s possible one or both is dealing with some other issue. Their questionable availability helps to explain the O’s reported interest in free agent outfielder Yasiel Puig, although there’s certainly room on the rather thin roster for Puig even if Santander and Smith return to the field quickly.