Injuries & Moves: Povich optioned to Triple-A; Kjerstad placed on concussion IL

July 14th, 2024

LATEST NEWS

July 13: LHP Cade Povich optioned to Triple-A Norfolk; RHP Vinny Nittoli selected from Triple-A; LHP Danny Coulombe (left elbow surgery) transferred to 60-day injured list
Povich, the Orioles' No. 8 prospect per MLB Pipeline, was optioned a day after allowing three runs in five innings in a loss to the Yankees. The 24-year-old left-hander had a 6.27 ERA over seven starts in his first stint in the big leagues, recording 24 strikeouts and 18 walks in 33 innings.

Baltimore's rotation is down to four starters, but it won't need a fifth until after the All-Star break. There's also an off-day on July 22 that could factor into the team's starting plans.

In the meantime, Nittoli will be a fresh arm in the bullpen. The 33-year-old right-hander had a 2.25 ERA in seven appearances for the A's earlier this season before signing with the O's on July 2. To make room for Nittoli on the 40-man roster, Baltimore transferred Coulombe to the 60-day IL.

July 13: OF placed on 7-day concussion injured list; OF Kyle Stowers recalled from Triple-A Norfolk
During the bottom of the ninth inning of the Orioles' 4-1 loss on Friday night, Kjerstad was hit in the head by a 96.8 mph sinker from Yankees closer Clay Holmes. Kjerstad was checked out by head athletic trainer Brian Ebel, then exited the game, with Austin Hays entering as a pinch-runner.

Kjerstad later underwent testing, per manager Brandon Hyde, and the 25-year-old outfielder was originally back in the lineup on Saturday. However, he was later scratched, as he went out to do pregame work and wasn't feeling 100 percent. Baltimore placed Kjerstad on the 7-day concussion IL soon after.

Stowers was recalled for the second time this season. The 26-year-old outfielder hit .286 (10-for-35) with four doubles, one homer and nine RBIs in 17 games for the O's earlier this year.

7-DAY CONCUSSION INJURED LIST

OF Heston Kjerstad (concussion protocol)
Expected return: TBD
Kjerstad was placed on the 7-day concussion IL on July 13, a day after the 25-year-old outfielder was hit in the head by a 96.8 mph sinker from Clay Holmes in the ninth inning of a 4-1 loss to the Yankees. Kjerstad had been one of the hottest hitters in Baltimore's lineup, batting .378 (14-for-37) with two doubles, three homers and 12 RBIs in 14 games since being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on June 24. (Last updated: July 13)

60-DAY INJURED LIST

LHP Danny Coulombe (left elbow inflammation)
Expected return: September
Coulombe underwent surgery to have bone chips removed from his left elbow on June 18. The procedure was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles, and it is not expected to end the 34-year-old's season.

"September is what we’re hoping for," general manager Mike Elias said on June 19. "I can’t control that stuff, but I think September would be a really responsible hope right now."

Coulombe experienced soreness in his left elbow while playing catch on June 10, leading to the decision to place him on the 15-day injured list the next day (retroactive to June 9). He had been the Orioles' best left-handed reliever this season, recording a 2.42 ERA and a 0.62 WHIP over 29 appearances. He was transferred to the 60-day IL on July 13. (Last updated: July 13)

RHP (right UCL sprain)
Expected return: Second half of 2025
Bradish underwent Tommy John surgery on June 19, ending his 2024 season after only eight starts. The procedure was performed by Dr. Keith Meister in Arlington, Texas, and also included Bradish receiving an internal brace -- the same type of hybrid procedure that Rangers ace Jacob deGrom received in June 2023.

Bradish battled elbow trouble all year. His first right UCL sprain was sustained in January -- when he also received a platelet-rich plasma injection -- and delayed the start of his season until early May. On June 14, Bradish experienced elbow discomfort during a start against the Phillies, exiting that game after five innings.

The Orioles will be without the 27-year-old right-hander -- who finished fourth in American League Cy Young Award voting in 2023 and had a 2.75 ERA in '24 -- until the second half of the '25 season. Bradish was transferred to the 60-day IL on July 11. (Last updated: July 11)

RHP Tyler Wells (right elbow inflammation)
Expected return: 2025
Wells underwent right UCL repair surgery with internal brace augmentation on June 17 and was transferred to the 60-day IL two days later. The procedure was performed by Dr. Keith Meister at Trinity Park Surgery Center in Arlington, Texas. Wells did not get a second Tommy John surgery, which he previously had on his right UCL in May 2019.

Throughout May, Wells had been rehabbing at the Orioles' facilities in Sarasota, Fla. He began to play catch late in the month, but he continued to experience discomfort, according to general manager Mike Elias.

Wells didn't bounce back from his April 6 start at Pittsburgh the way he had hoped and said he felt discomfort during his April 12 outing vs. Milwaukee. He was initially placed on the IL on April 16. (Last updated: June 19)

LHP (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return: Late 2025 or early '26
Means underwent Tommy John surgery on June 3 in Arlington, Texas. The operation was performed by Dr. Keith Meister. It is the second time Means has undergone the procedure, which he previously had in April 2022. He was then transferred to the 60-day IL on June 13.

On May 22, Means experienced discomfort in his left elbow during a start in St. Louis. The Orioles placed him on the IL the next morning, and the lefty flew back to Baltimore for additional testing. He later received a second opinion, which resulted in the decision to end his season.

“I’m going to take it day by day and do the best I can to get back and get it right this time,” Means said. “I still want to pitch, honestly. I’d like to fail on the field before I give it up. I feel like if I go out there I can still pitch.”

Means has made only 10 big league starts since the start of the 2022 season. He made four in September and then missed the postseason due to a flareup in his elbow, which also caused him to open the '24 campaign on the IL. He made only four starts again this season, and is a free agent this winter. More >> (Last updated: June 13)

RHP (Tommy John surgery)
Expected return: Spring Training 2025
On June 7, Bautista threw from about 90 feet on the field at Tropicana Field, where the Orioles opened a four-game series vs. the Rays. The All-Star closer, who had Tommy John surgery last October, had been rehabbing in Sarasota, Fla., but he came up to visit with the team.

"Awesome to see him. Looks amazing. Looks like he's in unbelievable shape," manager Brandon Hyde said on June 7. "He's throwing the ball great. Just to have him around, honestly, brings a smile to everybody's face. Just such a warm guy, and everybody loves him."

Bautista also underwent right elbow debridement and an ulnar nerve transposition on Feb. 9 in Dallas. Dr. Keith Meister performed both the Tommy John surgery and the additional procedures. The Orioles still expect Bautista -- who was placed on the 60-day injured list on Feb. 14 -- to return for the start of the 2025 season. (Last updated: June 7)