Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Kyle Bradish on 15-day IL with UCL sprain as Orioles starter could face surgery, lengthy absence

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The Baltimore Orioles have placed right-handed starter Kyle Bradish on the 15-day injured list with another sprain off the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow. Bradish felt a recurrence of discomfort during his Friday start against the Phillies, which he departed after five innings. The club recalled left-hander Nick Vespi from Triple-A in a corresponding roster move.

Bradish missed the first month of the 2024 season after a first UCL sprain was discovered in February. Rather than address the problem surgically, Bradish and the Orioles opted to rehab the tear. The approach appeared to work, but the recurrence of the injury once again raises the possibility that Bradish will be forced to go under the knife and, as a consequence, face a lengthy absence. 

However it plays out, it’s a blow to the Baltimore rotation. Bradish this season has pitched to a 2.75 ERA and a 2.48 FIP in 39 ⅓ innings spread across eight starts. The 27-year-old Bradish is also coming off a breakout 2023 campaign in which he pitched to a 2.83 ERA and a 3.82 K/BB ratio in 168 ⅔ innings for a Baltimore team that won 101 games and the American League East title. For his efforts, Bradish finished fourth in the AL Cy Young vote.

The Baltimore rotation is already without John Means and Tyler Wells, who are each expected to miss the remainder of the 2024 season with elbow problems of their own. These ongoing injury blows mean that general manager Mike Elias may be active in looking for starting pitching leading up to the trade deadline. Such boldness — the kind of boldness that landed ace Corbin Burnes this past offseason — may be required if the O’s are going catch and beat the Yankees in the AL East. 

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