As the roster turns…
The Orioles have a few decisions –and possible moves to make– following Wednesday’s ugly loss in New York.
Does Zach Britton, who gave up seven earned runs over 2 2/3 innings, get another start? Probably. The team has an off day on Thursday and that should give the bullpen enough time to regroup and be ready for Friday’s series opener against Tampa Bay.
Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta are options in Triple-A to take his rotation spot, but the organization doesn’t feel either young starter is ready or pitching well enough to warrant a spot with the Orioles right now. Arrieta, who is pitching for Norfolk tomorrow, is thought to be slightly ahead of Matusz in the pecking order and if he has a good start he could be in line to make Britton’s next start, which is Tuesday.
But I still think Britton gets at least one more turn through the rotation with Matusz and Arrieta staying in Norfolk and continuing to work things out.
Speaking of Norfolk, outfielder Nate McLouth is likely going to be called up to the big-league club on Friday, with an out in his contract nearing and the team trying not to lose him. But who goes? Lew Ford was added recently because he’s a right-handed hitter and the Orioles are facing two lefty starters in Tampa. The team can’t afford to play short a pitcher in the bullpen the way the starters are going. Ryan Flaherty is safe as a Rule-5 guy and I’d be surprised if they chose to designate veteran Endy Chavez, despite his performance.
Manager Buck Showalter was noncommittal about upcoming roster moves and Britton getting another start and he also mentioned post-game that Tommy Hunter –who threw the eighth inning this afternoon — wasn’t a definite for Friday.
“We’ll let the smoke clear after the off day, make sure Tommy’s fine,” Showalter said.
Hunter didn’t throw that many pitches, but they could opt to push him back a day and flip him with Wei-Yin Chen. Or call someone up. Although, again, who goes? Stay tuned.