Orioles Spring Training Update: Kyle Bradish injury, Cedric Mullins, Jackson Holliday

Pittsburgh Pirates v Baltimore Orioles
Pittsburgh Pirates v Baltimore Orioles / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

Week 2 of spring training is over, and the Orioles are sitting very comfortably at the top of Grapefruit League standings. We shouldn't get too worked up about spring training stats, but there is something incredibly satisfying about being able to see your team winning out of the gate, and it does bode well for the regular season.

Opening Day is less than three weeks away, and the Orioles have yet to cut anyone from spring training. The 40-man will need to go down to 26, and prospects and NRIs may be creeping up to take some spots. A couple of injuries this week might inform some decisions as we get closer to March 28.

Kyle Bradish is back to playing long toss catch after UCL treatment

In mid-February, the Orioles announced that No. 2 starter Kyle Bradish had been diagnosed with a UCL sprain and had received a platelet-rich plasma injection in order to treat it. Though far from ideal, Bradish seems to be making considerable progress over a short period of time. Matt Weyrich of The Baltimore Sun reported that MRIs have shown "accelerated healing" (subscription required), but the team is still hesitating to put a timeline on return.

On Tuesday, Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com reported that Bradish was playing catch from 140 feet, "the maximum distance from which he usually plays catch." Again, there's no set timeline here, but the rate at which Bradish is progressing is promising.

Cedric Mullins' hamstring discomfort seems minor

Mullins gave fans a scare when he exited Monday's game against the Twins after a leadoff walk and move to second on an Adley Rutschman groundout. The Orioles cited 'hamstring discomfort' after the game and said that Mullins would take things day-to-day. However, the issue wasn't major enough for the Orioles to order an MRI.

Last year, Mullins went on the IL twice with groin strains that kept him out for about 1/4 of the regular season. The Orioles brought in Aaron Hicks to fill in as both an outfielder and lefty bat in 2023, but they would likely use No. 3 prospect Colton Cowser as backup this year, especially as he's been mashing in spring training this year.

Jackson Holliday is making strides at the plate

Holliday, MLB Pipeline's No. 1 prospect in all of baseball for 2024, had a rough start to spring training. In his first four games, he went 3-for-11 with only one extra base hit and one RBI, immediately leading to some concern that he isn't totally ready for the majors despite hitting .323/.442/.499 across the minors in 2023 and being consistently ranked as baseball's top prospect via multiple outlets.

However, through three games in March, he's picked it up a bit — 4-for-10 with three extra base hits, raising his spring training line to .333/.364/.619 and looking a lot more like the guy the Orioles have hinged all of their hopes for the future on. Barring disaster throughout the rest of spring training, Holliday still has a real shot to make Baltimore's Opening Day roster.