3:23pm: Manager Brandon Hyde told reporters (including Nathan Ruiz of the Baltimore Sun) that Means has a muscular strain in his forearm. The southpaw is headed for further testing to determine if there’s any structural damage, and Hyde said the O’s will be without their top pitcher for “a while.”
2:15pm: The Orioles announced Friday that they’ve placed left-hander John Means on the 10-day injured list due to a left elbow strain. In his place, they’ve selected the contract of right-hander Travis Lakins Sr. from Triple-A Norfolk. Lefty Kevin Smith was outrighted to Norfolk after clearing waivers, thus opening a spot on the roster for Lakins.
It’s an ominous IL placement for Means, who’s been Baltimore’s top (and only consistently serviceable) starter since 2019. The 28-year-old southpaw carries a 3.72 ERA with a 21.2% strikeout rate and a stellar 5.1% walk rate through 353 1/3 innings in that time — including a 3.38 ERA in two starts this season. Means, however, exited his most recent outing due to forearm tightness, which is often a precursor to an elbow injury. The O’s haven’t made any further announcements about the extent of the strain or a possible timetable for Means’ return, though a strain, by definition, involves at least some degree of stretching or tearing.
Lakins, 27, will return for a third straight season of big league work with the O’s. He posted a strong 2.81 ERA in 25 2/3 innings for the Birds back in 2020, albeit with more dubious peripheral stats (in particular, his 11.2% walk rate). He tossed another 28 innings with the Orioles in 2021 but saw the pendulum swing the other direction on his results, as opponents knocked him around to the tune of a 5.79 ERA.
A sixth-rounder by the Red Sox back in 2015, Lakins has spent parts of three seasons in the Majors and compiled a 4.21 ERA in 77 frames, albeit with a sub-par 19.7% strikeout rate and 11.7% walk rate. He’s posted similar numbers in 66 career innings at the Triple-A level as well.
As for Smith, the 24-year-old lefty had yielded just two runs through his first 7 2/3 innings of Triple-A ball this season. That said, he’d also issued six walks against just three strikeouts in that time — a continuation of last year’s troublesome penchant for issuing free passes. Smith didn’t have major control problems prior to reaching Triple-A, but since debuting at that level in 2021, he’s walked a sky-high 18% of the 306 opponents he’s faced. Paired with only an average strikeout rate, those issues locating the ball led him to go unclaimed by all 29 other teams. He’ll remain with the O’s and hope to work out those command issues.
why outright Smith?
Smith? Probably because he was a soft tossing lefty w poor control. He passed through waivers because no one was interested.
Alex Wells is unfortunately the better version of him. Though im sure if smith is alright in AAA that he’ll get a look at some point this year. depth is razor thin.
This Means bad news
Means to an end
Doesn’t Means anything if you ask me.
We can’t have nice things
There goes their one pitcher.
Small sample size.
@ Jim Carter;
2 years ago I wrote here that Means was a good pitcher.
And he has been a fluke with bad perphials
Means is a good pitcher.. He is not a great pitcher and never will be. He’d be a perfectly good #3 in most rotations.
Really affects the O’s chances of winning the division.
MC Tim C
Definitely a tough break. They go from having a 0.00000001% chance to a 0.000000001% chance.
Don’t hold your breath. Where’s Adley? His “strain” is keeping him out as if he broke both legs.
It’s been one week since opening day, the strain was broadcasted to be about a month. I’m as pro player as most commenters but why would they risk a worse injury by forcing him off the IL and playing him?
I’ve broken bones before, so the time to heal from an injury is second nature. Service time is more likely the explanation.
Who is Upgrayson?
This is part of the reason why tanking teams offload their players (particularly pitchers) for as much quantity as they can get. Hopefully, he’s not seriously injured.
Had every chance to trade him at peak value but failed.
The orioles should just be contracted, what a miserable franchise. Just a waste of everyones time. Worst front office in MLB, just clueless idiots with no clue how to build a contender.
That just isn’t true. not even remotely.
Bud Selig Fan
Should have been traded at peak value. He wasn’t going to be a part of their team when they are ready to win again, whenever that may be, so keeping him made no sense.
Sign a veteran starter or two or three and try to put out a respectable rotation until the kids are ready, then strategically insert when they are ready.
I hate this “re-build” being attempted by the Orioles FO. The Angelos son/sons seem to want the record profits the long-tank allows for, over putting out a respectable team until they are ready to win.
Spending $30MM on a couple of veteran starters over these last couple of years instead of trotting out the worst pitching this game maybe has ever seen would have been a better strategy. Less embarrassing to that poor but proud fan base that likely has lost fans due to their purposeful losing.
If they don’t extend Mullins, they should get the moon by trading him as well. Spend a little on a FA OF or two to put out a respectable team. Not one that is so horrible it changes the balance of an entire league through incompetence. Tampa has beat them what — 18-20 games in a row. Come on.
C Yards Jeff
Agreed. Solid management team in place. And more importantly, the Angelos sons, other than their low salary cap requirement, r letting the baseball people of the franchise make the baseball decisions. Kudos to whomever the consultants r who advise them. Whether Angelos family stays or sells (I think they r staying), team has bright future. One caveat concerning immediate returns; Rutschman, Hall and Rodriguez are not getting any younger, maybe get them acclimated to the “bigs” now during this low pressure non competitive season.
Ed "The Mythical One"
“Other than their low salary cap…”
And I would say EXTREMELY low salary cap. You take away about 1/3 of the current total team salary cap in what they owe Chris Davis (guess who signed him? Peter Angelos….are you convinced the Angelos family isn’t impacting this club at all? By the way, moves like this for Davis and Alex Cobb…who makes up about another 1/4 of the current payroll, is why the current payroll is so low) and the Orioles have spent about $25 million on the players actually taking the field for this team.
The promising bright spot of John Means is just like all the other promising “young” arms this team has stumbled onto….he’s broken now. Mullins: 1 year wonder so far, not proven. Mountcastle: a top 5 pick at SS, and can barely play 1B, flawed hitter. He’s a supplemental piece on a good team, not a foundation piece.
Then you have “only a low payroll” edict coming down from on high. That is the single harshest controlling move any ownership group can make. Elias is like, “I want to make this team great again.” Angelos fam, “Oh, sure, just can’t spend any money.”
There is no such thing as solid management for the Orioles so long as the Angelos family owns it….because they ARE a part of management. They have final say on every move.
For Love of the Game
At least the A’s are competitive most years. The Orioles haven’t been competitive since 2016 with 4 season above .500 out of the last 24 years!!!
This is very true, I just needed to note for this annoying poster that loves crapping on other teams rebuilds that the As will likely be just as bad as the Os this year.
Good news. Matt Harvey is on his way
Stupid by management not to have traded him this past year. Same poor management even with new regime. Absolutely no reason to have had him pitch for the Os this season.
I would argue the Angels and Mets have worse front offices. Heck the Mets are so bad it’s laughable they keep doing the same cow dung every year. Their face of the franchise player is now hurt yet again and is running away next off season (smartly). Plus they brought in players with injury concerns yet again. Marte and his leg issues and Scherzer and his “dead arm” (sorry dead arm in the playoffs when it counts the most brings to question not only injury issue but character as well). And the Angels have wasted Trots Prime years away. Too many same mistakes over and over again every year. The O’s are rebuilding and taking their time doing it. Nothing wrong with that. Astros did it and now look where they are. So many blinders out there people can’t see the real things going on.
I would much rather be a fan of a team that tries to win by spending money than one who is tanking. Getting top lottery players is nice, but you need more than that to win. Angelos and his family have tried both strategies unsuccessfully.
Well 3 years into a rebuild and they don’t have a reliever under the age of 27 they could call up for a look rather than a retread like lakins? They have exactly 3 guys on their “rebuilding” 28 man active roster that are under the age of 26, all 3 are 25, and only Mountcastle seems like a building block. They only have 4 guys on their 40 man roster under the age of 25 and 3 of them are 24. They just outrighted the 24 YO Smith rather any of the many mid-late 20 YO pitchers they’re currently carrying.
They signed 1 FA for over $1 million – and that was Jordan Lyles who they may have significantly overpaid at $6 mil. It seems with all the outrightable mid-20s maybes on their 40 they could have spent some money and maybe signed some better short term guys they could spin off at the deadline to further bolster their decent prospect group.
They do have some coming pieces that should help – Rutschmann, G Rod, Bradish, Stowers, Westburg, and Vavra have all reached AA or higher among their top 15 prospects and could or will contribute going forward. The rest of their best are further off.
Of their current active roster who do you see as long term building blocks beyond Mullins, Mountcastle, maybe Hays? Frankly I’d include Means here if I thought they would hang on to him. The rest look like a collection of back end rotation pieces, middle relievers, and bench or support pieces with hope for a bit better from a couple.
This IS what is going on – throwing up the past success of the Astros doesn’t guarantee success. There are contrary examples as well. The Pirates have stumbled along without significant progress in a long rebuild. Who’s to say that isn’t the example the O’s are following? Right now it kinda looks more like that. Prospect analysts also think highly of the Pirates farm system, the team seems to think they have building blocks in Reynolds, Hayes, and maybe O Cruz, and they have 13 guys under the age of 25 on their 40 man.
Did this guy really just compare an injury to a person’s character?
Diddlez–If he was injured then his character should be fine. If his character was an issue than then there should be no concern about his arm.. LarryJ is hedging his bets to try to confirm his weak argument.
I have muscular strains in my forearms every time I grab something… I wouldn’t call it an injury, more like impressive.
Folty is still available.
Rick Porcello will play cheap
They should bring up their top, young pitching prospects to get them experience. They keep bringing in these AAAA players to fill their voids. Let the kids come up and get some real world experience. What the Baltimore FO is doing to a once proud franchise is shameful.
Spenser Watkins is the GOAT, what do you mean?
No the Orioles should not rush DL hall and G Rod to the majors and burn their service time.
Horrendous idea. The Orioles SHOULD have reached into their pocket and signed some major league caliber starters to short term deals. I’ll accept that criticism all day. But not what you said.
shocked no one wanted Smith. arent his numbers outside of those in AAA last season good?
Most rosters are full now so the decision to pick up a guy on waivers is a more difficult one. Or maybe teams don’t think as much of him as some prospect analysts, who don’t really see him as a top guy either. – #18 on MLB’s top 30 O’s prospects, #20 on BA, and way down the list at FanGraphs.
Dumpster Divin Theo
Bad timing. Not sure the Os make it to the ALCS. Might need to scale back the projections some I think.
Let Bradish take his spot while he’s recovering. For cryin’ in the mud, I’m surprised more people haven’t lobbied for him to pitch. Elias is just waiting until our record is so bad until he starts to bring up prospects, and he is certain he has another high draft pick next year.
i LOVE how they are still being defended, saying its their manager, you need to go watch Baltimore from the mid 70’s to the earlyish 2000’s when they were average to decent, hell, they even WON sometimes, over the last 20+ years they have been a disgrace to baseball and their fans, you do realize if you held a gun to most fans they couldnt name their manager, right? i sure cant, and i watch them cause they always play boston, i also cant name the reds manager or the pirates, because NOBODY cares,
i dont care enough about the orioles, nor do i care, to look up who owns them, but whoever it is should be stepping down to never, ever improve either their MLB team or minors, they never ever try to win and should seriously consider thinking ending their franchise, aka like Montreal, nor relocate, disband, then move all together to an expansion franchise like a second team in Canada or las vegas, which should have already been done, putting this crap on the field EVERY season is worthless.
they loose 112 games every season, why the HELL would he be ‘ rushed back?