Bradish placed on IL after exiting start with elbow discomfort

Right-hander will undergo further tests after logging 5 strong frames in O's extra-innings loss

June 15th, 2024

BALTIMORE -- Eventually, the Orioles wound up on the short end of a wild, 5-3 extra-innings loss to the Phillies on Friday night at Camden Yards.

But it was what they lost earlier in the game that has them more worried long term.

Right-hander 's status is uncertain after right elbow discomfort forced him to leave his start after five innings, manager Brandon Hyde revealed after the game. Bradish is about six weeks removed from returning from a sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow that forced him to miss most of Spring Training and the first month of the 2024 season. The Orioles placed Bradish on the 15-day injured list on Saturday.

Hyde said that Bradish would receive further testing in the coming days to gauge the severity of the issue. Bradish was not available to speak publicly after the series-opening loss, an Orioles spokesperson said. He did not make an appearance in the Orioles clubhouse during media availability on Saturday, either.

“His elbow was bothering him,” Hyde said. “Nothing really else to say other than we’re going to get further tests on his elbow.”

Bradish, who was the Orioles’ top starter in 2023, emerged last year as one of the best pitchers in the American League and was Baltimore’s Game 1 starter in the AL Division Series in October.

He sustained the UCL sprain in January, which did not require surgery, and received a platelet-rich plasma injection instead that allowed him to begin a throwing program in mid-February. Bradish made his season debut earlier than anticipated on May 2 and really hadn’t skipped a beat, pitching to a 2.75 ERA and 1.07 WHIP across eight starts.

On Friday, Bradish was characteristically effective, yielding little more than two solo homers (his first homers allowed this season) over five efficient innings before alerting Hyde to the elbow discomfort. His stuff was ticking up, too. Bradish’s fastball touched 98.6 mph and registered a full mph harder than his season average.

“He was throwing 98 in the first inning,” Hyde said. “I thought he had great stuff. It’s unfortunate he had to come out after five.”

The game got wild after Bradish departed, with four late-inning rallies, a rain delay after the 10th inning, a game-saving replay reversal and a sellout crowd of 43,987 bringing a charged atmosphere to Oriole Park for the opener this heavyweight series between the teams that began the night with the second- and third-best records in the Majors.

Anthony Santander (game-tying homer in the eighth) and Cedric Mullins (dramatic dash home on a 10th inning wild pitch) made big offensive plays, and four O’s relievers combined to log five excellent innings of relief before Jacob Webb surrendered Alex Bohm’s winning double in the 11th.

“Heck of a game,” Hyde said.

Afterwards, though, the concern was for Bradish.

“This stinks for Kyle," Hyde said.

The Orioles have already lost two important starters, John Means and Tyler Wells, to season-ending elbow injuries in recent weeks. They already feared they’d be without Bradish for a good chunk of the year after his offseason injury.

“I’m going to say a lot of prayers tonight,” outfielder Austin Hays said. “He’s going to get it looked at and we’ll go from there. Any time you know that a guy has battled back from an injury and he needs to come out of the game, it’s really tough.”

The O’s were already using a six-man rotation to provide Bradish extra rest between starts, so short-term, rookie left-hander Cade Povich can simply slide into Bradish’s rotation spot.

Baltimore is also sending righty Dean Kremer on a rehab assignment on Sunday, hinting that his return from a right triceps issue should be coming in short order.

“It’s difficult," Hyde said. "It’s part of the game. We’ve had our share so far this year and we have to rely on our depth.”