Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, recovering from a torn ligament in his right thumb, will begin a minor league rehab assignment on Tuesday. He is aiming to be activated “June 20th-ish,” which would be several weeks ahead of schedule, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Kiermaier, 28, was hitting a meager .163/.250/.233 in 48 plate appearances leading up to the injury. Mallex Smith has drawn the majority of starts in center field while Kiermaier has been absent.
Rob Refsnyder and Carlos Gomez have struggled offensively in the outfield corners. Smith has hit well, so he may push the other two out of playing time when Kiermaier reclaims his spot in center.
A third-inning solo home run by Austin Meadows off of Asher Wojciechowski on Thurday night marked the 259th home run Orioles pitching has allowed this season, setting a new major league record, per MASN’s Roch Kubatko. The previous record was held by the 2016 Reds at 258. Willie Adames hit No. 260, a game-tying solo shot in the fifth inning. The Orioles will have 34 more games to add on to their record after tonight.
The Yankees have famously accounted for 61 of the 260 home runs (23.5%) against Orioles pitchers this season. The Red Sox are next at 28 followed by the Twins and Blue Jays at 23 each.
David Hess has accounted for the most home runs on the O’s staff, yielding 28 dingers. Dylan Bundy is next at 25 homers allowed.
The Orioles are not the only team that will pass the 2016 Reds. The Mariners are on pace to allow 275 home runs. The Yankees, 266. Phillies, 262. Angels, 259. Pretty amazing.