Os rotation set…for now
The Orioles rotation order for the first five games will be Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, Jason Hammel, Brian Matusz and Wei-Yin Chen. But, according to manager Buck Showalter that could change very soon.
“You may see us adjust that some after the off day [on April 12],” said Showalter, whose club will need five starters to open the season and not again until April 20.
The club’s first off day is also the first day left-handed pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada is eligible to come off the disabled list. Wada is expected to compete for a starting rotation spot and –along with lefty Zach Britton (shoulder impingement) is currently in extended spring.
Showalter said he doesn’t put a lot of stock into the theory of separating the two lefties –in Matusz and Chen – calling that idea overrated and citing the club wanting to give Chen as much rest as possible before he makes his first Major League start.
“If you can pitch, you can pitch doesn’t matter if you throw between your legs or with both arms, left, right, whatever,” Showalter said.
“You don’t get into saying, well you want this number of right-handers against this team and that team. It just fit best for us going forward, gave us the flexibility after the off day to do some things if we need to. And if you understand some of the dates in which people are eligible to come back or not come back, it falls best for us.”
Matusz will pitch the series opener against the New York Yankees, with Chen following on Tuesday.