The Orioles have announced that they have reinstated southpaw John Means from the 10-day injured list to start Tuesday night’s game against the Rays. Outfielder Ryan McKenna was chosen as an option for Triple-A Norfolk to free up space on the active roster.
Means missed about six weeks after landing on the IL with shoulder strain. It was an unfortunate development that interrupted what has been a breakout season for the 28-year-old. Over the course of 71 innings, Means worked for a sterling ERA of 2.28 / 3.80 SIERA. He misses bats at a career-best 25.7% rate and has continued to dodge free passes (4.9% walk percentage). He’s been very successful with his three offers (fastball, slider, and change) and racked up swings at a high rate of 14% (up from an 11.6% league average).
Along with this strong performance, questions were asked about the long-term future of Means. With the Orioles still in reconstruction and not particularly close to the conflict, it is not excluded that Baltimore may think about moving Means for a transport of young talents. However, there are only 10 days left until the trade deadline, so Means doesn’t have much time to demonstrate to suitors that he’s returned to peak health and shape.
That’s not to say the teams won’t be in touch with O general manager Mike Elias over the next week and more. There would surely still be a lot of interest in Means if Baltimore made him available, especially given the lack of other cutting edge weapons expected to be on the trade block this summer. Still, there’s no rush for the Orioles to move Means at this point, so other clubs can’t bank on his recent injury to lower the asking price. The O’s can keep Means in Baltimore through arbitration until the end of the 2024 season.