Mancini 'feeling a lot better' after HBP
The Orioles dodged a major hit, according to manager Brandon Hyde. First baseman Trey Mancini and outfielder/designated hitter Ryan Mountcastle are recovering nicely from their injuries.
Mancini left Thursday night's 5-1 loss to the White Sox in the bottom of the first inning after being hit on the right elbow by a pitch from White Sox right-hander Dylan Cease in the series opener at Guaranteed Rate Field. X-rays taken were negative, and Mancini was diagnosed with a contusion.
“He is feeling a lot better. The elbow is still sore. He feels like he should be good to go in the next day or two,” Hyde said about Mancini.
Mountcastle, who was hit on the left hand by a pitch Tuesday against the Twins, took batting practice on Friday and was available off the bench against the White Sox. Hyde is also hoping Mountcastle will be in the starting lineup this weekend.
Changing Valdez’s arsenal
The month of May has not been productive for Orioles reliever César Valdez. Since May 1, Valdez has allowed allowing nine runs in six innings.
Thursday’s outing against the White Sox may have been his worst. The White Sox went to work on Valdez in the seventh inning, scoring three runs. Yermín Mercedes highlighted the scoring with a two-run single.
On Friday, assistant pitching coach Darren Holmes said he wants Valdez to use his fastball more often. Valdez threw a fastball on Thursday that was clocked at 97 mph. Holmes was surprised, because Valdez is known to throw changeups and occasionally mixes in a slider.
“There are definitely some things we are going to do to get him on track, to get him in a better spot,” Holmes said.
Valdez leads the Orioles in saves with eight, but Hyde indicated that left-hander Paul Fry could get the ninth inning if the Orioles have the lead.