The 2022 Orioles season was supposed to be a bounceback year for John Means. He didn’t have a bad 2021, but after his first career no-hitter, 2021 was anything but spectacular.
Means was the bonafide ace of a weak rotation, one that had more question marks than exclamation points. He would once again anchor the staff and be the subject of trade rumors, as the rebuilding Orioles would be looking to find their identity.
Though his career record is 20-24, Means gives the Orioles a chance to win each game he’s on the mound. As is proof by his 1.08 career WHIP, Means limits the damage opposing teams inflict against him.
Means started 2022 in strong fashion by pitching four innings of one-run ball against Tampa Bay. He would strike out five and walk only one and looked to be in great form to start the year.
In his second start against Detroit, Means once again would pitch four innings, this time allowing two runs. But he would leave when he experienced forearm tightness after just 51 pitches.
Though initially down played as a precaution, many Oriole fans feared the worst. Means has been no stranger to shoulder fatigue and soreness, but forearm tightness was something new to him.
Hyde would tell reporters that Means felt tightness in the third inning and alerted the staff in the fourth. It was during a curveball that Means felt the discomfort, and after 51 pitches against the Tigers, he would be shut down.
Days later, the news didn’t seem much better. Hyde would report that it would be a while before Means would pitch in 2022, and the possibility of not pitching again this season was being floated around.
Means was expected to get a second opinion and would subsequently be transferred to the 60-day IL, and fans feared what came to reality.
In a tweet by the left-hander’s official Twitter account on April 23, Means would announce to the baseball world that he will need Tommy John Surgery, ending his 2022 campaign.
Though this is a devastating blow to the Orioles’ staff, it has not halted the Birds’ climb as one of the top pitching staffs in all of baseball this season.
For 2022, Means will go down as pitching a combined eight innings across two starts. He totaled seven strikeouts with two walks and finishes with a 3.38 ERA.
Means has a career ERA of 3.81 across 70 games for the Orioles. Easily one of the strongest pitchers over the last four seasons, the hole left by Means will be a big one to replace.
As sorry as we are to see Means go down, the promise of available arms in the stable for the O’s leaves an exciting chance for the next man up.
We wish John a quick and speedy recovery. We know he will come back stronger than ever.
What do you think of Means’ injury? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter! And, make sure to use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content to show your Birdland swag!
Like Stephen’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @SrHeckman