December 7, 2022

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Injuries & Roster Moves: Will Means return this year?

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Keep track of the Orioles’ recent transactions and injury updates throughout the season.

RHP Dean Kremer (left oblique strain)
Expected return: Possibly late May
Kremer sustained a wholly untimely injury when he strained his left oblique while warming up for a piggyback bulk appearance April 10. Manager Brandon Hyde said the ailment will sideline the righty for around three to four weeks, and then he’ll require a build-up process to follow. That might not allow Kremer to return until the middle to end of May at the earliest, though he’s not expected to land on the 60-day IL. The move to the 10-day IL is retroactive to April 8. — Zachary Silver (Last updated: April 11)

LHP John Means (left elbow sprain)
Expected return:
TBD
The Orioles are still awaiting the results of additional testing on Means, who left his April 13 start with a left forearm injury that has since been classified as a left elbow sprain. The initial outlook is less than rosy. The first MRI that Means underwent revealed a strain in his left elbow, though the Orioles have not yet revealed the exact nature or severity of the injury. They are, however, preparing to be without their ace for significant time. It’s considered a new and graver issue for Means, who has missed time to recurring, but relatively minor, shoulder issues each of the past three seasons. Along the way, he’s pitched to a 3.72 ERA in 69 games (65 starts) since 2019, emerging as the team’s unquestioned ace.

“I wouldn’t expect him to pitch any time soon,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said Saturday.

Asked if Means would pitch again this season, Hyde could not commit to that possibility.

“I don’t know that,” he said. “That’s a question mark right now.” — Zachary Silver (Last updated: April 17)

C Adley Rutschman (right triceps strain)
Expected return: Late April
Rutschman’s return to game action could be “very soon,” executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said to MASN on April 15, with the club wanting the top prospect to spend an extended amount of time doing full baseball activities before sending him to a Minor League affiliate. Once Rutschman is in the Minors, his focus will be on regaining his timing and returning to the fitness he was at when he had “an inside track” for the roster at the outset of Spring Training. Rutschman continues his hitting and throwing programs, having progressed to taking batting practice off coaches, as he rehabs at extended spring camp in Florida.

“Once we see that [he’s] back to the player we had at the beginning of Spring Training, when he has poised to impact the roster — I think that’s all going to happen very quickly,” Elias said. “On a week-to-week basis, we’re going to keep an eye on how it’s going with him, and the sooner he gets back into his timing, I think the sooner he’s going to make the team.” — Zachary Silver (Last updated: April 17)

OF Heston Kjerstad (left hamstring strain)
Expected return: Late to mid May
Kjerstad was placed on the injured list at Single-A Delmarva on April 8, which signaled the affiliate he’ll make his professional debut at when he is fully healthy. The club’s No. 9 prospect was dealt a tough blow when it was announced on March 23 that he sustained a “higher grade” left hamstring strain that will sideline him eight to 12 weeks. Kjerstad, who has recovered from a myocarditis diagnosis that sidelined him for all of 2021 after the canceled ’20 Minor League season, will be eased back into game action after such a long absence, which means he could rehab at a lower level before debuting with Delmarva. He sustained the hamstring injury diving for a fly ball in a March 11 intrasquad game. — Zachary Silver (Last updated: April 8)

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