Two years ago, John Means threw a near-perfect-game no-hitter in Seattle in early May.
At the time, the former Mountaineer was less than two years removed from an All-Star season, and was becoming the ace of the Baltimore Orioles young pitching staff.
Injuries followed, however. Means made just 21 starts in the 27 months since tossing his no-no. He hasn’t thrown on a big-league mound since April 13, 2022, when he suffered an arm injury that required Tommy John surgery to repair.
That will likely change in the near future.
The former 11th-round pick out of West Virginia will make his season debut for the Double-A Bowie Baysox on Thursday in Richmond, Virginia. Orioles beat reporter Roch Kubatko, among others, reported on the left-hander’s next step Tuesday. This rehab assignment is one that Means and the Orioles organization hopes leads him back to the majors.
Means pitched two seasons at West Virginia, compiling a 10-6 record with a 3.24 earned run average. He started 25 games on the mound for the Mountaineers, and struck out an even 100 hitters.
He made his major league debut in 2018. In five years at the MLB level, Means is 20-24 with a 3.81 ERA. He has a career bWAR of 9.1, which is the third-best among all former Mountaineers who have made it to The Show.
Means suffered a setback in his rehabilitation process earlier this year. There was initially hope within the Orioles organization that he would be pitching for the O’s near the All-Star break. Without any future setbacks, it appears the 30-year-old lefty could resume pitching for Baltimore early next month.