11:21am: The team has now announced that Santander is on the 10-day injured list. McKenna has indeed been recalled to take his spot on the 26-man roster.
10:50am: Orioles slugger Anthony Santander will miss the next two to four weeks of action after sustaining a sprained ankle, manager Brandon Hyde announced to reporters this morning (Twitter link via Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com). X-rays and an MRI both confirmed that there is no fracture in Santander’s ankle. A corresponding roster move is in the works, per Hyde. Santander injured the ankle last night when lunging back to first base on a pickoff attempt (video link).
Santander, 26, emerged as one of the Orioles’ best hitters from 2019-20 and was the subject of some trade inquiries over the winter. However, the O’s control him all the way through 2024 and clearly weren’t motivated to make a move based on any of those talks.
The switch-hitting Santander is out to a slow start in 2021, hitting just .196/.230/.321 in 62 plate appearances after missing some time late in Spring Training with an oblique issue. But from 2019-20, Santander delivered a .261/.302/.505 batting line with 31 dingers, 33 doubles and a pair of triples in 570 trips to the plate. A middling 5.1 percent walk rate in that time limits his on-base upside, but Santander also struck out in just 15.6 percent of his plate appearances last season.
Baltimore just welcomed outfielder Austin Hays back from the injured list yesterday, so he’ll effectively be replacing Santander in the everyday lineup moving forward. Hays and hot-hitting Cedric Mullins are both options at any of the three outfield spots, while Ryan Mountcastle and DJ Stewart can work in the corners and also mix in some at-bats as the designated hitter. Ryan McKenna, who was optioned yesterday after Hays was activated, could also quickly be brought back and added into the equation if the Orioles want to replenish some outfield depth.