A key part of the Orioles rotation will be back soon.

Kyle Bradish, who finished fourth in AL Cy Young voting last year, will make his next start in the major leagues. Bradish, who suffered a UCL sprain in his throwing arm in January, made his third rehab start Friday with Triple-A Norfolk, throwing 77 pitches in five innings. He allowed five hits and one run while striking out six.

Bradish was the Orioles’ No. 1 starter last year, pitching to a 2.83 ERA and starting Game 1 of the American League Division Series.

“He threw the ball really well last night,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Our medical guys talked to him last night, our pitching guys as well, and he feels great. We’re just looking right now when to slot him in, but he’s going to be with us soon.”

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Bradish received a platelet-rich plasma injection and began his throwing program in February. He was throwing bullpen sessions by the time the Orioles left Sarasota, Florida, at the end of spring training in March and made his first rehab start with Bowie on April 16.

If they keep him on schedule, the earliest Bradish would make his season debut would be Wednesday against the Yankees. That, however, is the day Corbin Burnes is scheduled to pitch. Most likely, they will give Bradish an extra day, starting Burnes on Wednesday and Bradish on Thursday in the series finale.

The Orioles will need to make tough decisions as they clear space for Bradish and, soon, John Means. Means is scheduled to make his last rehab start on Sunday with Norfolk and could be ready to rejoin the team as early as Friday.

The rotation currently includes Burnes, Grayson Rodriguez, Dean Kremer, Cole Irvin and Albert Suárez. The Orioles could go to a six-man rotation, as they did in the second half of last season, but at least one person will have to be removed. Suárez is the newest, but he has yet to give up a run in 11 1/3 innings pitched. That leaves Irvin as the most likely candidate to go to the bullpen.

Danielle Allentuck covers the Orioles for The Baltimore Banner. She previously reported on the Rockies for the Denver Gazette and general sports assignments for The New York Times as part of its fellowship program. A Maryland native, Danielle grew up in Montgomery County and graduated from Ithaca College.

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