Chen to start Wednesday, Gonzalez expected in Chicago
While the Orioles remain mum on the future of right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez in the rotation, the club is expected to recall Miguel Gonzalez from the Minor Leagues at some point this weekend in Chicago.
Gonzalez, who was optioned to clear a roster spot for Jimenez to return from the disabled list, will throw a simulated game for Double-A Bowie on Monday that will be around 75 pitches.
[That will] set him up for coming back to us and pitching out of the ‘pen if needed or as a starter if needed,” manager Buck Showalter said of Gonzalez, who he made a priority to speak to on Sunday morning to discuss the plans for the next week.
“We would like for him to pitch Monday so we have Saturday and Sunday as an option with him…I didn’t want him to sit around that long of a period of time and not have an elongated outing. He’s real good at that, too. some guys aren’t good at sim games. He’s real good at getting something out of it.”
Gonzalez, who could be added as early as Tuesday, was originally thought to be a candidate for Wednesday’s start against the White Sox but Showalter said Wei-Yin Chen will stay on turn to start that game. Kevin Gausman, who is pitching Sunday’s series finale in Cleveland, figures to start one of the games at Wrigley Field later this week with the rest of the rotation still TBD.
Jimenez, who would be in line to start one of those games following Thursday’s off day, could be skipped or moved to the bullpen. Showalter reiterated on Sunday that he did not want to specify the plans for Jimenez –who allowed six runs over 4 1/3 innings in Saturday’s loss– and it’s also possible the right-hander gets another chance.
“I’m kind of decided but I’m not going to [say],” Showalter said of Jimenez’s next step. “We’ll see. we’ll see how the next few days ago.”
“His work day is the day after tomorrow. So, see how he is when we get there.”
The Orioles will have to clear a roster spot to add Gonzalez, with the team playing in a National League Park against the Cubs over the weekend making it easier to play with a shorter bench.