Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander is headed to the 10-day injured list after suffering a strained oblique, according to Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. Manager Brandon Hyde said that Santander will miss “significant time” due to the injury, and with just about three weeks left in the regular season, that could mean the end of Santander’s 2020 campaign.
Santander, 25, had been in the midst of a breakout season, to the extent that one can “break out” in a 60-game season. He’s rocking a .890 OPS (which would be a career-best by a wide margin) and has been the Orioles’ most valuable player by Baseball-Reference’s version of WAR. With 11 home runs in 37 games, he’s maintained his penchant for hard contact while cutting down and strikeouts and taking more walks.
He’s done all of the above while grading out as an above-average defender in right field, painting a picture of Santander as one of the bright young stars leading the O’s on the path back to contention. Unfortunately, they’ll be without him for most—if not all—of the remainder of 2020, a season in which Baltimore has surprised many with a competitive 17-21 record.
The Orioles recalled outfielder Mason Williams to the active roster not long after he was designated for assignment and subsequently outrighted to the team’s alternate training site. He’ll serve as a depth outfielder, with DJ Stewart likely assuming the bulk of the right field duties in Baltimore. Stewart is hitless in 16 at-bats this season, though an absurd 32.1% walk rate has carried him to a .385 OBP despite those struggles. A regular outfield role in Santander’s absence should be a good opportunity for Stewart, who has played in just 71 Major League games since debuting in 2018.