John Means' concerning injury adds sour note to Orioles' success, free agency

Unfortunately, John Means is back on the IL.
Baltimore Orioles pitcher John Means
Baltimore Orioles pitcher John Means / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages

John Means has endured several hardships throughout his bsaeball career, and his latest trip to the injured list will be yet another in a long list of calamities that have befallen the Baltimore Orioles left-hander.

Means exited Wednesday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals after only having pitched three innings. Means has allowed just one hit on 51 pitches, and while there was a rain delay, that's not why the southpaw was removed from the game.

Means' velocity was down and he was eventually diagnosed with a forearm strain. The O's placed Means on the 15-day IL and activated Jonathan Heasley. This latest trip to the IL is not only concerning, but disappointing as well.

Orioles LHP John Means' concerning elbow injury is a bummer

The Orioles starting rotation was just getting back to normal after Grayson Rodriguez returned from his stint on the IL. Means, of course, began the 2024 season on the injured list and was just activated on May 1st. In four starts this season, the 31-year-old is 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA.

The injury also has to be quite discouraging for a pitcher who's dealt a great deal of troublesome ailments over the years. Since 2022, Means has only pitched in 10 games. An elbow strain then evenutally resulted in the the need for Tommy John surgery, which limited Means to just two starts in 2022. Means returned to the mound for a handful of games in 2023, and is now on the IL once again.

Means is longstanding member of the Orioles. It's a shame that he's endured the tough times when the franchise was unwatchable — and now with the O's beginning to reach heights that hadn't been seen in quite some time — Means is back on the IL.

Time will tell if Means is able to rejoin the Orioles later this season, and it's a safe bet that Baltimore will be extremely cautious given Means' injury history. If he isn't able to regain his peak form this year, that'll hurt even more, considering 2024 is his final year under team control ahead of free agency.

If this is the end, and impacts his earning power ... you know what? Let's not even go there.

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