Roster coming tmrw, Johnson optioned
Steve Johnson surrendered seven hits and four walks (one intentional) and became the second consecutive starter to last just four innings on Saturday night, forcing the Orioles to option the right-hander after the game to add some bullpen help.
With Monday and Thursday’s off days, the team doesn’t need a fifth starter next week and they are expected to officially announce the corresponding move prior on Sunday.
“We’re not going to be short. I can tell you that,” manager Buck Showalter said of the bullpen, which he has made a priority to protect since taking over. “We’re not going to assume anything with Wei-Yin [Chen starting], especially with the conditions that we’re playing in. ”
“We’ve got two options. We had a couple calls in [to Triple-A Norfolk] in the fourth inning when Stevie came out. I wanted to check on the health of one guy, and some other things before we try to make a decision. There’s a 5:30 [a.m.] flight, gets in at 10:30. If we make it, that’s what he’ll be on.”
Showalter said in a perfect world the team would like to have a right-handed reliever, behind the lefty Chen, who can add some length although he acknowledged that may not be the case. Options in Triple-A who haven’t pitched lately include right-hander reliever Adam Russell, lefties Mike Belfiore and Daniel Schlereth and right-hander starter Jair Jurrjens, who is slated to start Monday for Norfolk.
Of those listed above, only Belfiore is on the 40-man roster. But given Brian Roberts’ hamstring surgery, the Orioles could transfer him to the 60-day disabled list should they need to make a 40-man move.
**Also Ryan Flaherty, who took a ball off his right wrist, said he’s fine and didn’t have any X-rays done after the game. He was removed for a pinch-hitter, but Showalter said that was just a game decision.