In an damage that doubtlessly throws a wrench into the Orioles’ rotation plans, right-hander Félix Hernández left Tuesday’s 7-1 loss to the Rays resulting from proper elbow discomfort, stated common supervisor/government vp Mike Elias. Hernández exited after putting out two over a scoreless first inning, then he was changed by Eric Hanhold to start the second.
The extent of the damage was not instantly recognized, however supervisor Brandon Hyde stated Hernández would bear additional testing. The righty didn’t handle his standing publicly.
“I believed his velocity was the identical, and he was getting outs. I simply thought the physique language was totally different this day trip,” Hyde stated. “We felt like there was one thing bothering him.”
Hernández, 34, signed a Minor League deal this offseason to battle for a job within the Orioles’ rotation, after electing to not play the 2020 season with the Braves resulting from well being considerations. He confirmed decreased velocity upon arriving in camp, permitting six runs (5 earned) over his first 4 2/3 Grapefruit League innings earlier than Tuesday. The plan had been for Hernández to throw round 65 pitches; he confronted three batters earlier than complaining of elbow discomfort.
“He was taking extra time in between pitches, and the way in which he got here off the mound after the inning, it appeared totally different,” Hyde stated. “We had the sensation one thing wasn’t proper.”
Shortly after arriving in O’s camp, Hernández stated he signed with Baltimore for the chance to pad his borderline Hall of Fame resume. Debuting as a 19-year-old phenom for the Mariners in 2005, Hernández spent the subsequent decade-plus as one the sport’s most dominant starters, going 169-136 with a 3.42 ERA, incomes six All-Star nods, two ERA titles and the ’10 American League Cy Younger Award. However he skilled a protracted, drawn-out decline with Seattle, going 15-27 with a 5.42 ERA over his ultimate three seasons.
The Minors deal he signed this winter with Baltimore would pay him $1 million if Hernández makes the rotation, the place he would offer veteran depth behind John Means and rookies Dean Kremer and Keegan Akin. He was certainly one of two big-name reclamation tasks the Orioles introduced in for that goal, together with former All-Star righty Matt Harvey. Given Hernández’s age and layoff — he final pitched in a regular-season sport in 2019 — any important damage wouldn’t solely damage his possibilities at pitching in ’21. It may additionally doubtlessly be career-ending.
The damage may additionally open beginning alternatives for inner candidates like Jorge López and rookie left-hander Bruce Zimmermann, who’re each pitching in addition to anyone in O’s camp. Zimmermann, the Ellicott Metropolis, Md., native, has strung collectively 9 scoreless innings in Grapefruit League play, putting out 10 in that span. López used three shutout innings Tuesday to shave his Grapefruit League ERA to 2.45; he produced a 6.34 ERA in 9 video games (six begins) for the O’s in 2020.