There is good news and bad news regarding a pair of former West Virginia University baseball standouts.
Starting with the good news, John Means is set to make his return to Major League Baseball Tuesday night in Baltimore. Means, a 2014 draft pick out of WVU, has not pitched at the MLB level since April 13, 2022, due to an elbow injury. The 30-year-old had Tommy John Surgery last year and dealt with some setbacks during his rehabilitation process.
But after nearly 17 full months on the shelf, Means is scheduled to start for the first-place Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night against the visiting St. Louis Cardinals. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. ET.
Means was WVU’s first-ever all-star in 2019, the same year he finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. He owns a 20-24 career win-loss record, with a 3.81 ERA. The former ace of the Orioles’ pitching staff, it is unclear exactly what Means’ role will be for the rest of the season and in the postseason.
Baltimore (91-52) is looking to secure its first AL East division title since 2014.
The latest developments above the border are not so positive for the other former WVU all-star. In fact, they’re not good at all. According to reports out of Toronto on Monday, Alek Manoah is likely done pitching this season.
Sportsnet reported that Manoah received medical testing last week, and met with multiple specialists to determine the severity of the wear and tear to his knee, back, and right quad. According to the report, no structural damage was found. However, one source told Sportsnet that while a return to action this season is not completely out of the question, the big right-hander appears to be prioritizing rest in recovery due to his lingering physical issues.
Manoah has not pitched since Aug. 10. He was optioned back to Triple-A after that start, though he has been inactive ever since.
Manoah missed three weeks of the season earlier this year after a disastrous start, which earned him a demotion to the Florida Complex League. He made a brief return to the MLB level on July 7, but lasted just over one month in the bigs before having to be sent back down.
The former first-round pick was one of the finalists for the AL Cy Young Award last season. He also made WVU history by becoming the first former Mountaineer to play in the Midsummer Classic.
Manoah is 3-9 with a 5.87 ERA at the major league level this year.