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Orioles Place Veteran Starter on Injured List

Two years after Baltimore Orioles left-hander John Means underwent Tommy John surgery, he finds himself back on the injured list. Means exited Wednesday’s start early after feeling discomfort in his elbow and showing a notable dip in his velocity. Means has faced his fair share of arm troubles, particularly in recent months. The 31-year-old left-hander has made just six combined starts across the 2022 and 2023 seasons due to Tommy John surgery.

Means has been held to only four starts this season after suffering a forearm strain that had kept him sidelined since Spring Training. In his four starts this season, Means has a 2-0 record with a 2.61 ERA, 16 strikeouts, and two walks over 20 ⅔ innings. He pitched three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit before Wednesday’s rain delay, but he wasn’t returning for the fourth. Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said after the game that the left-hander would undergo testing to determine the severity of a potential injury.

Means tore his ulnar collateral ligament four starts into the 2022 season and has had a long road back. He started four games after being reinstated from the injured list last September before experiencing a flare-up in his elbow. His flare-up kept him off the Division Series roster and set his winter throwing program back a month. Means has been a staple in the Baltimore rotation since 2019, becoming an All-Star and throwing the Orioles’ tenth no-hitter in franchise history.

Orioles Place John Means on the Injured List

In a corresponding move, the Orioles recalled right-hander Jonathan Heasley from Triple-A Norfolk to replace Means on the 26-man roster. Heasley made three relief appearances for Baltimore earlier this season, giving up seven runs (six earned) over 4 ⅓ innings. He was optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk where he has allowed just one run with 18 strikeouts in 20 frames. With the departure of Mike Baumann, the right-hander should operate in middle relief.

With Means sidelined for a yet-to-be-determined period, Baltimore’s plans to move to a six-man rotation have become more complicated. Cole Irvin stepped up in long relief for Means on Wednesday and would likely pitch out of his spot in the rotation. The hope is Means won’t be sidelined long-term. Otherwise, the Orioles would lose a key member of their starting rotation who had just become healthy again.


Photo Credit: © Reggie Hildred-USA TODAY Sports


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