Daily Press (Sunday)

Means, Fujinami among players left off Orioles’ roster for ALDS

- By Nathan Ruiz

Baltimore Orioles left-hander John Means is not on the club’s American League Division Series roster because he came out of his two-inning simulated game during Thursday’s workout with elbow soreness, manager Brandon Hyde said Saturday morning.

Means excelled in four starts after returning from Tommy John elbow reconstruc­tion, posting a 2.66 ERA with his fastball-change-up combinatio­n, but won’t be able to contribute in Baltimore’s best-of-five series with the Rangers, who lead 1-0 after Saturday’s 3-2 victory. Hyde said Means would be available for the AL Championsh­ip Series should the O’s advance, saying the injury is “not concerning” despite Means’ elbow procedure.

“I know he’s disappoint­ed,” Hyde said. “He threw a two-inning sim game a couple of days ago and didn’t feel right. Pretty normal after a Tommy John process, and he’s thrown the ball extremely well. And we don’t want to take any chances, honestly, with it.

“If you put him on the roster, he’s tough to replace, all those kind of things that happen. We felt the right thing to do was give him a few days off and get him ready for the Championsh­ip Series, if we advance.”

With Means out, the Orioles will likely line up right-handers Dean Kremer and Kyle Gibson to start Games 3 and 4, though Hyde has not revealed the order.

“We feel great about our starting pitching depth,” Hyde said. “Dean and Kyle Gibson both threw the ball extremely well this year.”

Hyde unveiled the full 26-player roster Saturday morning, with left-hander Cole Irvin and right-hander Shintaro Fujinami

joining Means as members of the Orioles’ end-of-season roster who won’t face Texas. Baltimore is carrying 14 position players and 12 pitchers, with the former group featuring all of the players who finished the regular season in the majors — including rookie outfielder Heston Kjerstad — and right-hander Bryan Baker making the bullpen.

Although Kjerstad was not on Baltimore’s 40-man roster by the Aug. 31 cutoff, he is eligible for the postseason because the Orioles have at least one player who spent the requisite amount of time on the injured list. Baltimore has three such players in pitchers Félix Bautista, Dillon Tate and Keegan Akin.

If the Orioles advance to the ALCS, they would be able to change the roster before facing either the Houston Astros or Minnesota Twins in a best-ofseven series beginning Oct. 15. In addition to Means’ potential return, Hyde suggested the Orioles could balance their roster for that matchup.

“If we go to a seven-game series, things might change,” Hyde said. “A five-game series with a couple of off-days in there, you feel more comfortabl­e carrying less pitchers.”

Texas’ roster features 13 pitchers and position players each and does not include three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, who is progressin­g from a shoulder muscle injury.

Here’s the Orioles’ ALDS roster, listed alphabetic­ally by last name within positions.

Right-handed pitchers (9): Bryan Baker, Kyle Bradish, Yennier Cano, Jack Flaherty, Kyle Gibson, Dean Kremer, Grayson Rodriguez, Jacob Webb, Tyler Wells

Left-handed pitchers (3): Danny Coulombe, DL Hall, Cionel Pérez

Catchers (2): James McCann, Adley Rutschman

Infielders (7): Adam Frazier, Gunnar Henderson, Jorge Mateo, Ryan Mountcastl­e, Ryan O’Hearn, Ramón Urías, Jordan Westburg

Outfielder­s (5): Austin Hays, Aaron Hicks, Heston Kjerstad, Cedric Mullins, Anthony Santander

 ?? JULIO CORTEZ/AP ?? Baltimore Orioles pitcher John Means experience­d elbow soreness during a workout Thursday, so manager Brandon Hyde left him off the ALDS roster.
JULIO CORTEZ/AP Baltimore Orioles pitcher John Means experience­d elbow soreness during a workout Thursday, so manager Brandon Hyde left him off the ALDS roster.

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