Orioles’ Adley Rutschman, Ramón Urías ‘under the weather,’ scratched from lineup day after AL East clinch – Boston Herald
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde put out a new-look lineup for Friday’s game, the first after Baltimore clinched the American League East. It received a couple of further alterations before first pitch against the Boston Red Sox.
Hyde was already resting infielder Gunnar Henderson and outfielder Anthony Santander, but catcher Adley Rutschman and third baseman Ramón Urías joining them on the bench after the club said both players were “under the weather.” James McCann and Jordan Westburg, respectively, replaced them in the lineup.
Thursday’s 2-0 victory secured the division and the top record in the AL for Baltimore, leading to a raucous clubhouse celebration. All that’s left for the Orioles to jockey for over their final three regular-season games is gaining home-field advantage in a potential World Series matchup with the Los Angeles Dodgers. But Hyde said before Friday’s game his priority is sorting out players’ workloads in preparation for the postseason, which begins for the Orioles with Game 1 of the AL Division Series on Oct. 7 at Camden Yards after five days off following Sunday’s finale.
“It’s very unique,” Hyde said. “I haven’t ever had that many days off in a row, especially before a postseason game. But we have some guys that could really use some time off. Now, that many days? No. But how do we simulate live pitching, having our hitters still continue to see velocity? Probably want some of our pitchers to throw to some hitters at some point. So all those things come into play.”
With Henderson out of the lineup for the first time since Aug. 12, Cedric Mullins slotted into the leadoff spot, his first appearance there since July 1. Even without the changes to the lineup, rookie Heston Kjerstad received his first major league start in the outfield, having been Baltimore’s designated hitter in his previous six starts.
“I wanted to let Heston get the experience out there,” Hyde said. “You’re gonna see him play probably two if not all three of these games and get him the at-bats … I want to kind of give him four or five at-bats a night if I can in at least two of these games and see what he’s like against big league pitching.”
The Orioles are still finalizing their pitching plans for both Sunday’s game and the postseason. Veteran Kyle Gibson will start Saturday, but Hyde said the club hasn’t decided who will pitch Sunday; it would be Kyle Bradish’s turn in the rotation, but the second-year right-hander is expected to be the Orioles’ Game 1 starter. Hyde added he has scheduled out appearances for some of his relievers, wanting to make sure they get work over these next three days.
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