In his second start of the 2022 season, Orioles ace John Means was removed from the game after four innings and 51 pitches. Given that he had only allowed two runs on two hits, it was a bit concerning. 

The first update from the team, Wednesday after the start, didn't alleviate much of the concern. On Friday, Means was placed on the injured list and things didn't sound much more promising. 

The Orioles initially said that Means has left forearm tightness. That's a bit scary, because far too many times an initial injury report of "forearm tightness" to the throwing arm ends up being a torn ulnar-collateral ligament, which leads to Tommy John surgery. To be clear, this isn't the case every single time and we certainly aren't saying that's the direction Means is headed. Simply, that's the reason hearing the news is potentially scary. 

Friday, the Orioles told reporters Means would undergo more tests on his elbow. Joe Trezza of said it's "clear" that Means is out "for at least a while." Means himself said this was the first time in his career he's experience elbow discomfort (via 

Means, 28, has been a very effective starter since joining the Orioles' rotation on a full-time basis in 2019. He entered Wednesday's outing with a career record of 20-24 (the Orioles have been one of the very worst teams in baseball throughout his tenure) and a 3.80 ERA (123 ERA+) with a 1.09 WHIP and 306 strikeouts in 352 2/3 innings. In a sea of mostly unreliable pitching the last several years, Means has provided some real stability to the rotation. 

Means did miss about six weeks last season due to a shoulder injury and battled left arm fatigue in 2020, so this isn't the first hint of troubles with his pitching arm. Again, though, it's the first time with the elbow.