HomeMLB RumorsJohn Means Being Evaluated For Elbow Soreness

John Means Being Evaluated For Elbow Soreness

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Orioles starter John Means left this afternoon’s appearance against the Cardinals after three innings. Postgame, manager Brandon Hyde told reporters that the left-hander had experienced elbow discomfort (link via Danielle Allentuck of the Baltimore Banner). The team was sending Means for further evaluation to determine the severity of a possible injury.

Means was working with diminished stuff. According to Brooks Baseball, his fastball averaged a season-low 88.8 MPH. He has been in the 90-92 range in every other start. Means’ heater topped out at 90.3 MPH today, his lowest maximum velocity of the season.

It’s discouraging news for a pitcher who has battled repeated arm issues over the last couple years. Means was generally durable between 2019-21, his first three full MLB campaigns. He suffered an elbow sprain just two starts into his 2022 season. Means underwent Tommy John surgery not long after, keeping him out of MLB action for nearly 18 months. Baltimore reinstated the former All-Star in the middle of September. Means had a solid four-start run — a 2.66 ERA over 23 2/3 innings — but felt renewed elbow soreness in October.

Baltimore left him off their playoff roster and slow-played his offseason. Means opened the 2024 season on the injured list as a result. He missed the season’s first month. Hyde plugged Means back into the rotation on May 1. He has again been quite effective, turning in a 2.61 ERA with 16 strikeouts and only two walks (both of which came in today’s outing) through 20 innings.

The team will know more about a potential timetable for Means’ return in the coming days. It would appear that another trip to the injured list is a possibility, though the bigger question is whether there’s any kind of structural issue.

If Means goes to the IL, Cole Irvin should draw back into the rotation. The left-hander has been available out of the bullpen for the past few days. (He tossed 3 1/3 innings behind Means today.) Irvin spent most of the year in the starting staff but was briefly pushed to relief once Grayson Rodriguez returned from the injured list last week. Rodriguez slots in behind Corbin Burnes and alongside Kyle Bradish and Dean Kremer as Baltimore’s currently healthy starters.

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