The Baltimore Orioles sent John Means to the mound for his final start of the spring in North Port, FL against Atlanta this evening. Means wasn’t as sharp as he would have liked. Now where close. Means’ line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 3 K.
However we found out something interesting after Means left the game. He mentioned that he and a few other Orioles received the COVID vaccine earlier today. And as a result he started feeling tired during his outing.
A lot of people will question this and wonder why an athlete would get the COVID vaccine this close to the season. First and foremost, it goes without saying that if you want the shot, you should get it whenever it’s made available to you. But…would you rather he had gotten it Thursday morning before his Opening Day start? So I think the timing is fine. And it won’t shock me when this is only the first time we hear about a player not being 100% due to getting the vaccine shot.
Means surrendered a solo homer to Acuna in the first inning. Three innings later Riley’s bases-clearing double extended the lead to 4-1. Jackson’s RBI-double later in the inning chased Means, and have Atlanta a 5-1 lead.
Ramon Urias‘ RBI-single in the fifth accounted for the Birds’ first run on the night. Adley Rutschman‘s RBI-double in the eighth accounted for their second. And Atlanta would plate three more runs in the last of the fifth and in the seventh. And those additional runs were of the insurance type, as Tyler Nevin‘s thre-run homer in the eighth for the O’s closer. But still no cigar, as the O’s dropped this one 8-5.
The bit about Means getting the COVID vaccine sounds like an excuse. Maybe it is. However as I said that’s something Orioles’ fans should be thankful that he and his teammates did during spring training. And it won’t be the last time we see a player having this issue.
The Orioles made a trade before tonight’s game. The sent cash considerations to Cleveland for RHP Adam Plutko. Over four years in Cleveland he has a .520 win percentage, and a 5.05 ERA. As a corresponding move they designated Yolmer Sanchez for assignment.
No indication what this means for the pitching staff or the infield. It’s an interesting time to make a trade, but it’s not surprising to see them picking up additional pitching. Either way, Plutko’s coming.
The Orioles will return to Ed Smith Stadium tomorrow afternoon to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Matt Harvey gets the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Pittsburgh’s Mitch Keller. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.