Brandon Hyde’s first priority is to win. It comes before anything else for the Orioles manager, even before securing a big league debut for Taryn Vavra, the organization’s 12th-ranked prospect according to Baseball America.
“If the opportunity presents itself, it happens,” Hyde said. “But we’re trying to win the game every night.”
Whenever Vavra appears, it will be his first time in the majors. The only question is when. At the time Hyde spoke before Tuesday night’s home game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Vavra was still on the road from Triple-A Norfolk to Baltimore (48-48) and was not in the starting lineup.
Regardless of when he takes the field in his No. 77 jersey, Vavra is the latest highly-rated Orioles prospect to receive a call-up — and the first since. Outfielder Kyle Stowers made a brief cameo As a substitute last month in Toronto.
Vavra, who plays all over the field but primarily features as a second baseman, earned the opportunity at the expense of shortstop Jonathan Arauze, who was placed on the 10-day injured list on Tuesday. Arauze recorded his first hit since July 4th over the right field fence. 5-1 win over the Rays on Monday night But he got his finger jammed at second base when he tried to stretch the knock into a double.
He was thrown out and left with an injury, diagnosed as an avulsion fracture of his right index finger. According to the Cleveland Clinic, an avulsion fracture means “a piece of bone that breaks away from the central part of the bone attached to the ligament or tendon,” and can take up to 12 weeks to heal.
Vavra, a third-round draft pick in 2018 who was acquired from the Colorado Rockies at the 2020 trade deadline as part of a package for reliever Mitchell Givens, hit .324 with an .886 OPS in 45 games for Triple-A Norfolk. is hitting, primarily playing second base or center field. Hyde pointed out that he used Vavra in the corner outfield in spring training, and “it’s nice to have another athletic guy who can run and play multiple positions.”
The Menomonie, Wisconsin, native has two home runs this season, as power is not his primary selling point. Instead, Baltimore called up a 25-year-old with strong plate discipline and contact skills, which led to his .435 on-base percentage in Triple-A.
“He’s been swinging the bat well all year in Norfolk and he’s a guy that’s played a few positions,” Hyde said. “We’re so right-handed that it’s good for us to add a left-handed bat, and it’s nice to see a young guy play well in Triple-A and get called up to the big leagues.”