Former Mountaineer left-handed hurler John Means recently suffered a setback in his rehabilitation from Tommy John Surgery, according to Baltimore Orioles general manager Mike Elias.
The good news for Means and the Orioles is that the setback is not related to Means’ surgically repaired left elbow. The bad news is that the 30-year-old starting pitcher suffered a back muscle strain, delaying his comeback from the arm surgery he underwent last spring.
“We’re still very much hoping to get him back this season,” Elias said. “But this is obviously going to slow things down and tack on some time before we actually see him out pitching games.”
Means remains on the 60-day injured list. There was hope within the organization that he could return to the Orioles’ active roster before the MLB trade deadline on August 1. According to Elias, that no longer seems possible.
With that said, the Orioles GM still believes Means could pitch at the big-league level this season.
“I don’t think July is in the picture now. We’ll see after that,” Elias added. “We’ll kinda take it as it comes. We’ve seen a couple of these muscle strain timelines can just vary, and I don’t see any reason to start throwing numbers out there. But very, very optimistic to get him back in 2023.”
Means has not thrown a pitch in a major league game since suffering an arm injury on April 13 last year. He made just two starts during the 2022 season.
An 11th-round draft pick out of West Virginia in 2014, Means was the first WVU baseball alumnus to become a Major League Baseball All-Star in 2019. Means has a career bWAR of 9.1, the third-best among any former Mountaineer.
Fellow WVU product Michael Grove is also rehabbing an injury. He is scheduled to make his latest rehab start in Triple-A Saturday night. The Wheeling, West Virginia native struck out seven hitters last time out.