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Rain Postpones Austin Hays' Debut With Orioles

September 6, 2017
BALTIMORE -- Austin Hays' major league debut will have to wait another day. The Orioles' newest outfielder, whose contract was purchased from Double-A Bowie Sept. 5, experienced his first major league rainout before he played in his first major league game.
The Orioles' scheduled game with the New York Yankees was postponed Sept. 6 and rescheduled for 1:35 p.m. Sept. 7. It's the Orioles' first rainout of the season at home. They were rained out in Washington May 11.
Right-handers Kevin Gausman (10-9, 4.79) and Sonny Gray (8-9, 3.36), who were scheduled to start Sept. 6, will start Sept. 7.
Hays wasn't in the lineup posted by Orioles manager Buck Showalter. The 22-year-old outfielder, who was named one of five finalists for Baseball America's Player of the Year Award, got the call to the majors after Craig Gentry went on the 10-day disabled list with a broken right middle finger.
"That played a part in it," Showalter said of Gentry's injury.
Hays batted .329 in 128 games at Double-A Bowie and Class-A Frederick. The right-handed batter hit 32 home runs and drove in 95 runs.
He was drafted in the third round in 2016, and after 38 games with short-season Class-A Aberdeen, he skipped Low-A Delmarva and is in the big leagues 15 months after the draft.
"The first full season has gone by unbelievably fast," Hays said. "To see where I'm standing right now is just incredible. It's a dream come true." 
When he reported to minor league camp in Sarasota, Fla., in February, Hays did imagine being with the Orioles in September.
"It's crazy to think, but I would say it's a possibility," Hays said.
As Hays compiled an impressive stats in the minors, his stock around baseball began rising.

"I try not to change the way I play the game, or the way I thought about the game, or what I was trying to do on a daily basis," Hays said.
Bowie will not have Hays for the postseason, but helping the parent team obviously is the priority.
"Our No. 1 desire is for the Baltimore Orioles to get into the playoffs," Showalter said. "If he had been here the last three days with three left-handers, he might have started. … He can hit right-handers, too. He'll get an opportunity somewhere along the line."
Gentry has been used as a pinch runner, and with him out, and Joey Rickard often playing right field, Hays could be used to run, too.
"I know I have some speed," Hays said. "I feel like I play pretty good defense, so maybe in a defensive situation or they need my bat in the lineup, I'm ready to be in the lineup. Any situation they need me."
Showalter, who saw Hays play briefly in spring training, said Hays will have to get used to playing the outfield in big league parks.
"There's an adjustment period with that," Showalter said. "All indications are that he's going to be a good defender and throw well."
Hays was officially put on the roster about an hour before the scheduled start of the Sept. 5 game. He sat through a two-hour, 14-minute rain delay and then watched an exciting, 7-6 comeback win.
"Great atmosphere in the clubhouse, and the game yesterday was a great first game to watch," Hays said.
NOTES: Right-handed pitcher Mike Wright is expected to join the Orioles for the Sept. 7 game. … Double-A Bowie utility player Garabez Rosa has been named the Eastern League's Most Valuable Player. … Showalter said he hopes left-handed pitcher Jayson Aquino, who was designated for assignment to make room for Hays, returns to the Orioles organization. He was viewed as a possible starter for the Orioles and will be out of options in 2018. 

Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox