Orioles News: Bradish and Means return, Craig Kimbrel injury update, roster moves

Baltimore has a busy week ahead of them when it comes to shuffling their roster around.
Baltimore Orioles v Cleveland Guardians
Baltimore Orioles v Cleveland Guardians / Ron Schwane/GettyImages

For the Baltimore Orioles, the biggest thing that they needed to accomplish in the short-term is to just get their pitching staff healthy. The lineup is stacked with some of the best young players in baseball -- including Gunnar Henderson, who just hit his 10th homer of the young season -- but the Orioles don't have the same level of depth in terms of arms, especially when you factor in all of the guys they have on the shelf at the moment.

Fortunately, that appears to be changing this week. We have known for a little while that Baltimore starter John Means was close to returning, and it was recently confirmed that Means will come back this week, now that his rehab from a forearm issue has reached its conclusion. In added good news, it sounds like 2023 Orioles staff ace Kyle Bradish will also be activated this week from the IL as he, too, has been dealing with arm issues this season.

The timing of who starts when, who gets activated first, and who the corresponding roster moves are will likely be dictated by the Orioles' bullpen usage this week. Baltimore has a problem with not having a ton of relievers that have minor league options left, so some tough choices may need to be made. However, they probably won't do that until they know everyone's role and availability, aka whose arms are fresh going into the weekend.

Orioles News: Baltimore gets promising injury update on Craig Kimbrel

One of the more concerning bits of news coming out of the weekend was when Orioles veteran closer Craig Kimbrel had to be pulled from his appearance against Oakland with an injury. It was later revealed that he was dealing with back tightness and, given that the Orioles' bullpen is already pretty thin right now, a long-term Kimbrel absence would have been tough to work around.

Fortunately, it seems like the Orioles have avoided that scenario for now. On Monday, it was revealed that Kimbrel was feeling much better. While an IL stint is still possible for Kimbrel, Baltimore is hopeful that a few days of rest will be enough to get him back on track and back on the mound giving Orioles fans heart attacks soon.

Orioles News: Cionel Perez returns, Dillon Tate optioned to minors

Adding to the positive news, Cionel Perez was activated from the IL on Monday. Perez had been dealing with an oblique injury early in 2024 and, given the uncertainty around Kimbrel at the moment, getting him healthy was a welcome sight to start the week. Over the last two seasons, Perez has been a stalwart member of the Orioles' bullpen, averaging 66 appearances a year while posting a 2.43 ERA over that span.

To make room for Perez, the Orioles optioned Dillon Tate back to the minors. Some Orioles fans were upset that Tate was the odd man out, as he had been pitching well. The other option of cutting bait with Yohan Ramirez, who has not, seemed more appealing. However, the Orioles had used Tate twice over the weekend, and he is one of the few Baltimore relievers that actually has minor-league options left. Tate will almost certainly be back up soon, and Baltimore just wants to have a fresh arm around this week before they have to make the roster moves to activate their starters (even if said arm is just Ramirez).

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