Orioles turn to rookie P Means against White Sox
According to STATSAccording to STATS
Baltimore Orioles at Chicago White Sox
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 4/29/2019 thru 5/1/2019
Baltimore Orioles rookie left-hander John Means earned a permanent spot in the starting rotation after stymieing the Chicago White Sox for five innings in a home spot start on April 24.
Means will look to build upon that success and continue a solid beginning to 2019 on Monday night when the Orioles open a three-game series in Chicago.
Pitching on his 26th birthday, Means limited the White Sox to one run in five innings while striking out a career-high six. He earned his first win as a starter while improving to 3-2 with a team-best 1.74 ERA.
"It's been a whirlwind," Means said. "I'm kind of still numb to it. I didn't think I'd be here. I didn't think I'd be on this team, and to be here and be providing and be doing well, it's really nice."
Means made his major league debut against the Boston Red Sox in the final week of last season. Although he started off well, striking out the first batter he faced, Means ultimately struggled, allowing five runs on six hits in 3 1/3 innings.
He opened the season as a long reliever, but injuries and an early-season doubleheader created an opportunity for Means to shift away from a bullpen role.
"We're going to figure some things out here as we go forward, but obviously John Means has earned a lot of things," Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde said. "I like giving John the ball. It's going to work itself out. There's still a lot of season left to go, five-plus months to go. John's going to make a lot of starts for us this year. We're going to figure some things out on how we're going to kind of navigate through going forward."
One asset for Means has been an improved changeup, which he used to get five swinging strikeouts against the White Sox.
"It's saving me lately," Means said. "I don't really have by breaking stuff as good as I'd like, and there's a lot to improve on. But I'm happy with how it worked (against Chicago)."
Means opposed Ervin Santana in his most recent start, but the White Sox designated the veteran right-hander for assignment on Friday. Santana signed a minor league contract in the offseason but was 0-2 with a 9.45 ERA in three starts.
Left-hander Manny Banuelos (1-0, 2.51 ERA) will get his second start of the season on Monday. Banuelos, who opened the season as a long reliever, started Chicago's April 22 victory in Baltimore but did not qualify for the win, pitching four scoreless innings with four strikeouts.
The White Sox will be without rookie outfielder Eloy Jimenez, who was placed on the 10-day injured list after suffering a high-ankle sprain in Friday's home victory against the Detroit Tigers.
On Sunday, White Sox manager Rick Renteria said Jimenez will be reevaluated "in a couple of weeks." The 22-year-old Jimenez, who is batting .241 with three home runs and eight RBIs in 21 games, was wearing a walking boot on his right foot before Sunday's game.
"I feel lucky it wasn't too bad," Jimenez told reporters. "It's just (a) sprained ankle and it's going to be good."
Chicago has won three of its last five, while the Orioles were swept in a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins over the weekend.
--Field Level Media
Updated April 28, 2019