The Baltimore Orioles hope pitching prospect Kyle Bradish can become part of the franchise's youthful resurgence.
The right-hander's development continues Tuesday when he makes his third career start as the Orioles open a three-game road series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Orioles havewon six of their last nine games, including their 6-1 win at Kansas City on Monday. The Cardinals are coming off consecutive losses at San Francisco that closed their six-game road trip.
Bradish (0-1, 5.40 ERA) was a fourth-round pick from New Mexico State by the Los Angeles Angels in 2018. He came to the Orioles in a trade for pitcher Dylan Bundy and worked his way up the organizational ladder.
He allowed the Minnesota Twins to score four runs on six hits and two walks in four innings during his most recent start on May 4. All those runs came in the fourth inning after Baltimore gave him a 6-0 lead to work with.
"His command was a little bit off that inning," Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. "I don't know if it was the long sit that maybe derailed him a little bit, but the most important thing is he's going to be pitching every five days. These are good learning experiences."
Bradish was 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA in three starts with Triple-A Norfolk to begin this season. In his Orioles debut, he allowed three runs (two earned) in six innings of a 3-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox on April 29.
In his second start, he threw just 38 of his 70 pitches against the Twins for strikes. He needed 35 pitches to get through the fourth inning.
"I just lost command on my breaking balls," Bradish said. "Wasn't throwing strikes, and they were laying off.
The Cardinals will counter with either with Adam Wainwright (3-3, 3.18) or perhaps Miles Mikolas (2-1, 1.53). Wainwright is line to start the game, but he has been in the COVID-19 protocol.
"Just so everyone knows, I feel great. 100% with zero symptoms," Wainwright tweeted on Friday. "Out of an abundance of caution and following MLB protocols I have to test negative twice before I return. Which we're hoping is very soon."
Wainwright threw seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball in his previous start, a 10-0 victory over the Royals on May 4.
If Wainwright isn't cleared to pitch, Mikolas could take the turn on regular rest after the Cardinals' off-day on Monday.
"Weighing all of it," manager Oliver Marmol said.
The Cardinals hope to give whomever starts more offensive support. They have scored three runs or fewer in 13 games this season (4-9 record).
Prospect Juan Yepez arrived from Triple-A Memphis to provide a spark. In his first five games he is 9 for 19 with three doubles, a homer, three RBIs and four runs scored.
Yepez is a corner infielder by trade, but Marmol has given him corner outfield starts in addition to designated hitter at-bats.
"Hard to take a bat out of the lineup that is taking quality at-bats," Marmol said. "Righty, lefty -- doesn't matter. The matchups are fine. If the guy is taking a quality at-bat, he's got to stay in there."
--Field Level Media