Left-hander Alberto Castillo is here. Right-hander Frank Mata is due to report at 4:30 p.m.
“Our bullpen situation right now will be a challenging one,” manager Dave Trembley said. “I don’t know what the roles are. I don’t have guys slotted at particular innings. We have an eight-man bullpen right now.”
That includes David Hernandez, who is likely to stay there unless injuries strike the rotation. Trembley knocked on the wooden bench while discussing this subject.
Hernandez was told to be ready for anything in the ‘pen. That doesn’t necessarily mean closer, though Trembley didn’t dismiss the idea.
“It meant he could come in in a long role, it meant he could come in in the seventh inning and pitch one inning,” Trembley said. “I’m not so sure the best thing would be to put him in in the ninth, but I wouldn’t be opposed to it.”
Trembley won’t reveal Saturday’s starter in Toronto, but we know it’s Chris Tillman.
“You guys can do the homework and figure out who that’s going to be,” Trembley said.
Yes, Chris Tillman.
So who’s the closer? We don’t know. The job hasn’t been handed to anyone. But Trembley seems hesitant to move Will Ohman to the ninth inning because the lefty has been so effective as a specialist.
“I’m not sure if he’ll be a guy who comes in in the ninth inning or not,” Trembley said.
“I told (pitching coach) Rick Kranitz that it would be nice to have such a lead going into the ninth inning, we wouldn’t have to worry about a closer.”
We might have to settle for a closer-by-committee.
“I don’t really have anybody in mind right now,” Trembley said. “I think you’ve got to let the game go and see how it unfolds.”
Trembley doesn’t want the relievers to think the club is holding tryouts. He’s just trying to get 27 outs.
Koji Uehara and Alfredo Simon, placed on the 15-day disabled list, will report to the minor league complex in Sarasota over the weekend while the Orioles play in Toronto. Second baseman Brian Roberts is expected to join them after resuming baseball-related activities today. Fingers crossed.
Uehara still can’t play catch because of the strained ligament in his elbow.
Simon thought he could return within a week, but that was deemed too long for the Orioles to go short-handed in the bullpen. Head athletic trainer Richie Bancells thinks Simon will need the full 15 days, so the move makes sense.
The Orioles moved Mike Gonzalez to the 60-day disabled list to clear room for Mata on the 40-man roster.
Trembley corrected his statement on Sunday that he thought Simon’s injury occurred as the reliever reached for first baseman Luke Scott’s throw. Trembley watched the replay and saw Simon pull up two or three steps off the mound.
Corey Patterson was chatting with his brother, Eric, in the Orioles’ dugout before batting practice. I never imagined earlier this season that a series against Oakland in late May would turn into a reunion. Did anyone?
President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail will appear on O’s Xtra tonight on MASN. You also can read his comments to Steve Melewski right here.