8:52pm: Hays has a mild strain, according to manager Brandon Hyde, who’s optimistic he won’t miss much time (via Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com).
4:48pm: The Orioles have placed outfielder Austin Hays on the 10-day injured list with a right hamstring strain, per a team announcement. In other moves, the Orioles activated right-hander Shawn Armstrong from the IL, recalled outfielder Ryan McKenna and optioned righty Cole Sulser.
The 25-year-old Hays is a promising piece for the rebuilding Orioles, but injuries – including to his ribs, ankle, wrist – have dogged him during his professional career. He only appeared in 33 of 60 games last year, owing in part to a rib fracture, but bounced back from an awful start to finish with a roughly league-average .279/.328/.393 line with four home runs in 134 plate appearances. He began this season with two hits in 10 PA during the Orioles’ three-game sweep of the Red Sox.
McKenna, 24, will give the O’s more outfield depth as they await Hays’ return. He hasn’t yet played above Double-A ball, where he hit .232/.321/.365 with nine HRs and 25 steals in 567 PA in 2019, though FanGraphs does rank McKenna as the organization’s seventh-best prospect. Eric Longenhagen wrote last month that “McKenna can fly and he has all-fields, doubles power, peppering the right-center gap with inside-out swings,” adding he could mix average offense with quality defense in the bigs. The 24-year-old will join Cedric Mullins, Anthony Santander, Ryan Mountcastle and Pat Valaika as outfield options on Baltimore’s roster.