Félix Bautista is inching closer to his return, but his status for the postseason remains up in the air. Manager Brandon Hyde recently spoke to reporters (including Nathan Ruiz of The Baltimore Sun) about his star closer, suggesting that the right-hander is running out of time to get back on the mound. It’s not that Bautista has suffered a setback, but he just hasn’t progressed quickly enough to give Hyde much confidence that he can return for the playoffs.
It’s a disappointing development for the Orioles, who are set to embark on their first postseason run since 2016. The 28-year-old has emerged as one of the most dominant relief arms in the game, with a 1.85 ERA across his first two seasons in the majors.
In happier news, Ryan Mountcastle is nearing his return to Baltimore’s lineup. As Ruiz reports, the first baseman took batting practice before this evening’s game against the Nationals. Hyde suggested he could be reinstated tomorrow; if not, he should be back on the field sometime this week.
Here’s some more news from around the American League…
- The Twins expect Carlos Correa will be ready to play in the AL Wild Card series, and indeed, it’s possible he could be back by the final series of the regular season. Manager Rocco Baldelli told reporters (including Bobby Nightengale of the Star Tribune) that the star shortstop could rejoin the team this weekend in Colorado. Correa has been playing through plantar fasciitis for most of the year, and the question is not whether his injury has healed, but simply if he has rested enough to be able to manage the pain throughout the playoffs. The Gold Glove winner has been taking groundballs in recent days, and he claims to be feeling better.
- Red Sox catcher Reese McGuire left tonight’s game against the Rays with a left thumb contusion. It’s not a particularly serious diagnosis, but still, it’s not impossible this marks the end of McGuire’s season. The lefty batter hit .271/.314/.365 in 69 games as a backup catcher for Boston. He will be arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter.
- The Angels have placed starting pitcher Patrick Sandoval on the 15-day IL. To replace him on the active roster, they have recalled Kolton Ingram from Triple-A Salt Lake. Sandoval exited his start last night against the Rangers with tightness in his right oblique, and the injury has proven to be serious enough to end his season six days early. This marks Ingram’s third fleeting call-up of the 2023 season; in 4 1/3 innings for the big league club, he has given up five runs on seven hits. However, his numbers are much better in the minors, where the 26-year-old boasts a 2.95 ERA in 61 innings pitched.