Orioles starter Kyle Bradish exits game after 104-mph liner hits right foot

Published 4/3/2023 9:07 p.m. EDT, Updated 4/4/2023 10:51 a.m. EDT

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - APRIL 03: Kyle Bradish #39 of the Baltimore Orioles sits on the mound after being hit by a line drive from Jonah Heim of the Texas Rangers in the second inning at Globe Life Field on April 03, 2023 in Arlington, Texas.

ARLINGTON, Texas — Orioles right-hander Kyle Bradish’s preliminary X-rays were negative after a 104-mph line drive struck his right foot against the Texas Rangers on Monday night.

Baltimore described Bradish’s injury as a right foot contusion. He will undergo further testing and evaluation. Following the game, manager Brandon Hyde said he’d know more tomorrow about Bradish’s condition.

The ball, crushed off the bat of Rangers catcher Jonah Heim, hit Bradish and then ricocheted toward first base, where Ryan Mountcastle recorded an out. But after Bradish’s stellar start to Monday’s contest, the starting pitcher walked gingerly around the mound with Hyde and head trainer Brian Ebel in tow. He attempted one warmup pitch before making his way to the dugout.

At the dugout steps, Bradish lifted himself down without putting any weight on his right leg.

The injury is a blow on multiple fronts. Bradish, coming off an impressive rookie season for Baltimore, was making his first start of the season. The Orioles, meanwhile, relied upon their bullpen for 13 2/3 innings across the first three games of the season in Boston, and they hoped length from Bradish. After Bradish’s departure, left-hander Danny Coulombe entered.

Bradish cruised through the first inning, striking out two batters with his slider and forcing a groundout. In the second, Bradish allowed an infield single and a walk before Heim’s liner ended his outing after 1 2/3 innings. Coulombe finished the inning with a strikeout to strand both inherited runners.

And after Coulombe, the Orioles turned to right-hander Tyler Wells, the scheduled starter for Tuesday’s game. Hyde searched for length to cover for an otherwise taxed bullpen, and Wells provided it with five no-hit innings. Wells has previous experience as a reliever in 2021, and his ability to cover multiple innings saved the bullpen for the remainder of the series.

It does create an opening for a spot-starter Tuesday or Wednesday, however. Right-hander Kyle Gibson would be the most logical option, given he will be on regular rest Tuesday after starting opening day. Baltimore could also turn to right-hander Austin Voth for length, or call up an arm.

Hyde said “we’re straight TBD” right now for pitching the rest of the series. “We’re going to go through all scenarios.”

Bradish pitched 117 2/3 innings for Baltimore last year with a 4.90 ERA, but the second half of his season was especially impressive. He held a 3.28 ERA in his final 13 starts.

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