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Means slated to return to mound on Wednesday

@JoeTrezz
August 3, 2019

BALTIMORE -- Shorthanded for much of the year, the Orioles' rotation is set to return to full strength. Baltimore is preparing for All-Star left-hander John Means to return to the mound Wednesday against the Yankees, manager Brandon Hyde said. The decision would end Means’ second abbreviated stint on the injured

BALTIMORE -- Shorthanded for much of the year, the Orioles' rotation is set to return to full strength. Baltimore is preparing for All-Star left-hander John Means to return to the mound Wednesday against the Yankees, manager Brandon Hyde said.

The decision would end Means’ second abbreviated stint on the injured list this season, and comes after the 26-year-old southpaw repeatedly tested the stretch of his left arm in a series of throwing sessions this week. Means has been on the IL since July 25, after reporting discomfort in his left biceps. An MRI later revealed minor rotator cuff inflammation, but no structural damage.

All told, the whole ordeal ended up costing Means two starts.

“It’s very, very minimal,” Means said. “It’s nothing that’s anything to worry about. It’s just very frustrating because it is so minimal that I’ve had to miss time. But at the same time, I’ve been talking to the coaches and everything, and we just want to finish the season strong and healthy and go into the offseason with a very clear idea of how next season is going to look.”

Relentlessly durable during his five-year Minor League career, Means said he’d never missed a start before landing on the IL for the first time in June. The issue then was deltoid tightness, which Means said doctors believed could be related to the most recent discomfort, albeit on the other side of the shoulder.

“It might have been because one area was weak that the other area was doing a little too much,” Means said. “That might have had some issue with it, but like I said, it’s very minor.”

The Orioles have similarly downplayed the severity of the ailment, chalking it up to normal wear and tear for a pitcher in the midst of his first full big league season. It’s certainly been a notable one for Means, who is 8-6 with a 3.12 ERA across 21 games and 17 starts.

Joe Trezza covers the Orioles for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.