Orioles’ John Means ‘completely’ expects to pitch in 2023 regardless of setback throughout Tommy John restoration

Orioles left-hander John Means was going by the use of his typical routine to pitch ahead of an extended spring teaching sport, slamming a medicine ball in opposition to a wall to activate his greater physique.

However on the last word throw, Means “simply form of needed to go a little bit arduous,” he talked about Sunday morning throughout the Orioles’ Camden Yards clubhouse, solely to actually really feel a tug in his greater once more. Having expert shoulder factors beforehand and dealing to deal with all of them by way of his restoration from Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgical process, Means talked about his preliminary thought was, “Are you kidding me?” The injury — a strain of the teres essential muscle throughout the shoulder blade house — proved to be unrelated to his earlier diseases, nevertheless it ought to keep Means, the group’s excessive starting pitcher for lots of its rebuild, from coming back from his elbow surgical process in July as hoped.

Requested whether or not or not August is now the purpose, Means talked about, “One thing like that,” saying he “completely” will pitch for Baltimore in some unspecified time sooner or later this yr.

“It’s simply a type of issues it’s a must to let settle down earlier than you begin constructing again up once more,” Means talked about. “We’re simply gonna let it settle down right here after which form of begin to construct again up, and it shouldn’t put me again an excessive amount of longer.”

In 2019, Means was the Orioles’ lone All-Star marketing consultant and accomplished second in American League Rookie of the 12 months voting. Throughout that advertising marketing campaign and the next three, Means posted 3.72 ERA in 69 video video games, 65 of them begins. On Could 5, 2021, he threw the fourth solo no-hitter in Orioles historic previous, placing out 12 Seattle Mariners with the one batter reaching on a dropped third strike. Baltimore’s opening day starter in 2021 and 2022, he exited his second start of the latter season with a forearm injury that was the outcomes of a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow and required season-ending surgical process. In 2019 and 2021, Means frolicked on the injured itemizing with left shoulder diseases, nevertheless he talked about this injury is “within the muscle stomach” and by no means related.

“Disappointing, clearly, however no less than it’s not throwing harm or something like that,” Means talked about. “However on the similar time, that makes it a little bit bit extra irritating.”

The 30-year-old was anticipated to produce a midseason enhance to a rotation that entered Sunday’s assortment finale with the Texas Rangers with the eighth-highest ERA throughout the majors whereas tied for the fourth-fewest wins above various, in accordance with FanGraphs. Means reiterated Sunday how impressed he’s been with what the Orioles have achieved with out him, with their 33-19 file the majors’ third best, nevertheless he moreover craves to be a full part of it.

“It’s been powerful,” Means talked about. “And clearly, the final yr and a half has been powerful mentally and now to form of add this on — I’ve been by way of tougher earlier than. It’s a type of issues that I’m studying greater than I ever have. We’re simply gonna take it and roll with it and see what occurs.”

Means talked about he’s able to prepare his lower physique and core nevertheless will stay away from throwing and most greater physique work as a result of the strain recovers. He talked about the injury doesn’t bother him till he’s pulling one factor, offering the occasion of putting socks on.

Orioles supervisor Brandon Hyde reiterated authorities vice chairman and customary supervisor Mike Elias in saying Means’ setback will delay his return nevertheless not dramatically so.

“I really feel badly for him,” Hyde talked about. “I feel we’re lucky and hopeful that it’s going to be not an excessive amount of longer after his preliminary start-back date anyhow, however I do know he was trying ahead to getting again on the market and getting his rehab cranked up and simply has to attend a little bit bit now. However that was nice to see him, nice to see him in right here and love having him round.”

Means, too, is appreciating being spherical. As one in every of many few players who appeared in each of Baltimore’s rebuilding seasons who continues to be with the group, he’s savoring the vibe throughout the Orioles’ clubhouse.

“It’s unimaginable,” Means talked about. “Simply being within the clubhouse once more, and you are feeling the power, it’s so completely different. It’s so nice to see.”