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Orioles ‘ Kyle Bradish will miss start of season with elbow sprain

 WBN  |    Feb 15th, 2024 4:46pm EST

It didn’t take long for spring training to provide its first injury reports.

On the day they held their first official workout, the Baltimore Orioles announced pitcher Kyle Bradish will open the season on the injured list with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament. Bradish’s unavailability for the opening day is an obstacle to the Orioles’ bid to repeat their AL East title.

Orioles general manager Mike Elias said Bradish received a platelet-rich plasma injection to treat the injury.

“The early returns are very encouraging, and everything is in a really good spot right now,” Elias told reporters. “He’s going to start his throwing progression tomorrow, but that progression is going to be something that takes some time. Everything is pointed in the right direction and going well right now at this time, but I’m not at a point where I want to start putting a timeline on when we’re going to see him in major league action.”

Bradish, 27, had a breakthrough season last year, going 12-7 with a 2.83 ERA in 30 starts.

The announcement of Bradish’s injury came one day after Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander said he was a couple of weeks behind schedule due to offseason shoulder inflammation that could prevent him from being ready for opening day.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner, who turns 41 next week, called the injury “a little hiccup’’ while noting he will be “really cautious on how I’m building up.’’ Verlander threw 20 pitches off a mound Thursday.

Bradish’s injury is particularly notable because the Orioles already are unsure about left-hander John Means’ status for the start of the season. Means is recovering from an elbow injury that kept him out of last year’s postseason.

The Orioles did fortify their rotation last month by acquiring 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner and three-time All-Star Corbin Burnes from the Milwaukee Brewers.

Orioles third baseman and 2023 AL Rookie of the Year Gunnar Henderson also is dealing with a mild oblique aggravation, though Elias described it as a “really typical” early spring injury.

“At this point, we don’t expect his opening day to be in danger,” Elias said.

MANUEL RETURNS

Former Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel made his first visit to the ballpark since he suffered a stroke in September.

The 80-year-old Manuel managed the Phillies for 8½ seasons from 2005-13 and guided them to a World Series championship in 2008. He also spent three years as a manager in Cleveland from 2000-02.

Manuel’s social media account posted a photo of him walking into the team’s complex in Clearwater, Florida holding a Phillies duffel bag.

“The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again,” the post read.

Under Manuel, the Phillies won five consecutive NL East titles from 2007-11. They beat the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2008 World Series for the city’s first major professional sports championship since 1983.

Philadelphia won another NL pennant in 2009 before losing to the New York Yankees in the World Series.

Manuel was 1,000-826 as a major league manager, including 780 wins with the Phillies. He was inducted into the team’s Wall of Fame in 2014. He rejoined the organization that year to work as a senior adviser to the general manager.

Manuel also played six seasons in the majors as an outfielder with the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1969-75.

LINDOR FEELING CONFIDENT

Francisco Lindor is taking inspiration from last year’s World Series participants as the four-time All-Star shortstop seeks to help the New York Mets bounce back from a disappointing season.

The Mets spent big before the 2023 season and thought they were title contenders but went 75-87. Manager Buck Showalter was fired and general manager Billy Eppler was replaced.

Lindor’s team enters this season without much fanfare, but he says all that matters is what the Mets expect from themselves.

“Nobody was expecting the Diamondbacks, (but) I’m sure they were,” said Lindor, referring to the 2023 NL champions. “Probably not too many were expecting the Rangers either, but I’m sure they were as well. Every team’s going to be in the same boat. It’s not about the expectations outside. It’s what you believe and what you think you can do.”

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AP Sports Writer Dan Gelston and AP freelance writers Marc Berman and Chris Nelsen contributed to this report.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb