Tim Stauffer out 4-6 weeks after appendectomy

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After years of bouncing back and forth between Triple-A and the majors Tim Stauffer looked to be grabbing a permanent spot on the Padres’ pitching staff by posting a 0.39 ERA and 19/4 K/BB ratio in 23.1 innings. And now he’s out for a month following an emergency appendectomy.
Stauffer was sleeping in a hotel room in San Francisco when abdominal pain woke him in the wee hours yesterday morning. He hopped on his iPhone and punched the symptoms into WebMD.com, finally calling Padres trainer Todd Hutcheson at 3:15 a.m. “He had himself diagnosed,” Hutcheson said. “He said, ‘I think I have appendicitis.’ It was pretty swollen, his whole side of the stomach was pretty tight.”
Sure enough, Stauffer took a taxi to the nearest hospital and underwent an appendectomy, which Hutcheson said is a first for him in 20 years as the Padres’ trainer. Roy Halladay is the last prominent pitcher to have an in-season appendectomy, missing about three weeks of action in 2007, so there’s a chance Stauffer could be back by early next month. In the meantime maybe he can put his diagnostic skills to work assisting the trainer. If nothing else, his new nickname needs to be “Doc.”

Orioles sign OF Aaron Hicks, put Cedric Mullins on 10-day IL with groin strain

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
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BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles signed outfielder Aaron Hicks less than 24 hours after Cedric Mullins went down with a strained right groin.

Mullins went on the 10-day injured list, but the Orioles are hoping Hicks can help defensively in the spacious outfield at Camden Yards. Hicks was released last week by the New York Yankees with more than 2 1/2 seasons left on his contract.

“We had noticed that he was a free agent even before the injury,” Orioles general manager Mike Elias said. “When the injury occurred and it became pretty clear this was going to be an IL, it seemed like a good fit even more so at that time.”

The Orioles are responsible for paying Hicks just $483,871, a prorated share of the $720,000 minimum salary. The Yankees owe him the rest of his $10.5 million salary this year, plus $9.5 million in each of the next two seasons and a $1 million buyout of a 2026 team option.

The 33-year-old Hicks hit just .188 in 28 games for the Yankees this year.

“We have stuff that we look at from a scouting and evaluation perspective,” Elias said. “It’s very different from just looking at the back of a baseball card, and we hope that we get a bounceback from anyone we bring here.”

Hicks batted .216 last season.

“Hopefully that’s a good thing for him,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of the Baltimore deal. “A lot of time here and a lot of good things happened for him here. I know the last couple of years have been a struggle. But hopefully it’s a good opportunity for him and certainly wish him well. Not too well being in our division and a team we’re chasing, but hopefully it’s a really good fit for him.”

Mullins left a loss to Cleveland after he pulled up while running out an infield grounder. Outfielder Colton Cowser – the fifth pick in the draft two years ago – is hitting .331 at Triple-A Norfolk, but he went on the IL in the past couple weeks.

“Certainly he was building a case towards promotion consideration prior to his injury and prior to Cedric’s injury,” Elias said. “We’ll just see where we’re at.”

Hicks was active for the game but not in the starting lineup. Austin Hays, normally Baltimore’s left field, was in Mullins’ usual spot in center.

When the wall in left at Camden Yards was pushed significantly back before last season, it made left field a bigger challenge defensively.

“In this park … you really need two center fielders,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “Aaron’s got a lot of center-field experience. Played left field here before also. Brings the defensive aspect and then the switch-hitting.”