SEATTLE — Orioles manager Brandon Hyde signaled Wednesday that the team would be making some roster moves during the four-game series that started Thursday night in Seattle, and they came in a flood.
The team announced Thursday afternoon that struggling pitcher Dan Straily has been designated for assignment after back-to-back relief outings in which he allowed seven homers and 13 runs. The club also activated outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. from the injured list, placed John Means on the IL and recalled right-hander Evan Phillips from Triple-A Norfolk.
The move with Straily was no surprise. He allowed seven runs and four homers to the Boston Red Sox in a four-out appearance Friday and gave up three more home runs in a 16-2 blowout in Oakland on Tuesday night.
Hyde did not single out Straily when he called out the bullpen after that game, but it wasn’t hard to connect the dots when he said Wednesday that there would be pitching moves coming.
Straily almost certainly will clear waivers and likely will end up being outrighted to Norfolk. He doesn’t have to accept that demotion, but would lose the remaining guaranteed portion of his contract if he opts out of the minor league assignment.
Means, who has been one of the most pleasant surprises of the season, was placed on the IL retroactive to Monday with a left shoulder strain. He’s 6-4 with a 2.67 ERA in 16 games and has allowed more than three earned runs in only one of his 12 starts.
Smith went on the seven-day concussion IL after crashing into the wall making a catch in the Orioles’ June 6 game against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park. He just completed a brief minor league rehabilitation assignment with Norfolk in Scranton, Pa., and returns still leading the big league club with 41 RBIs.
He said Thursday that it was his first concussion and the aftereffects were not pleasant.
“It was very different,’’ Smith said. “I had to just rest and, like, I’m so used to moving all the time. I had to sit down and I couldn’t really be in light areas, I had to be in dark rooms. Just to calm my headache down, so I just prayed for it to go away. It was really getting annoying at that point. But, things happen for a reason. So I was just being patient with it and taking my time.”
Though the symptoms are known to get worse and the recovery time is longer, Smith said the experience would not change the way he plays the game. But he’ll be a litter more aware of his surroundings.
“I’m going to play my game regardless,’’ he said. “I’m not going to think about getting hurt again. That’s when you do get hurt. So, I’ll just play without a conscience and just have fun. … I’m going to play hard, but play smart at the same time.”
Trey Mancini’s bruised elbow remains sore and swollen the day after he took a fastball off it and had to leave Wednesday’s game in Oakland, but there has been some improvement. He expressed hope that he could play Friday, but wasn’t ready to bet on it.
"Yeah, it actually felt a lot better than I expected it to this morning,’’ he said. “I'm not sure of the exact timetable. I'm hopeful for tomorrow. It could be maybe a couple games. I'll see how it's feeling tomorrow. Obviously, I still don't have full motion in it and it's still pretty swollen, but for being hit on the elbow, it's a lot better than I thought it would be.
Another big bullpen day
With Means sidelined the Orioles will pitch Friday night’s game entirely out of the bullpen. Hyde has not designated an “opener,” but it seems likely that Evan Phillips and Sean Gilmartin will be prominent in the early innings.
More draft signings
The Orioles announced the signing of four more selections from the 2019 first-year player draft. They are shortstop Darell Hernaiz (5), catcher Maverick Handley (6), shortstop Andrew Martinez (24) and LHP Jake Prizina (31). That brings the total players signed from this year’s draft to 28.