Interim manager Juan Samuel joked that you “add a little headache” when trying to find at-bats for Garrett Atkins, who survived today’s roster moves.
“We’ve got some lefties coming up, and now that we’re in our league, the DH spot is always open to get somebody in,” Samuel said. “If you need to give Luke (Scott) an off-day or give Corey Patterson an off-day, we might face some lefties where Atkins needs to be in there. We’ve got a righty tomorrow, lefty next day, so we’ll see what we can do. But it’s been difficult, especially in San Francisco and San Diego, trying to get those guys in there not having the DH spot available for us.”
Samuel met with Atkins in San Diego.
“I didn’t want him to think that I forgot about him,” Samuel said. “He understands my job, what we face, and he was very good with it. Very professional.”
Lou Montanez can sympathize with Atkins.
“Lou Montanez, if you noticed, he got a few at-bats on the road,” Samuel said. “He’s a guy we know. We have other guys that we can use in the outfield if we need to. The days that Luke Scott didn’t play, if we needed a pinch-hitter early for a pitcher, Montanez was going to be that guy, and he got some at-bats there.
“It’s been hard to get him in there. After not playing for a while, you kind of think, ‘Well I don’t know if I’m doing him a disservice putting him out there.’ But you have to trust your players and trust your guys. It’s just that we haven’t had a spot for him right now.
“I’m sure we would like to play everybody - that’s my mentality - but you also have to keep him on the bench because if Luke starts, then you may need him to play defense late, so you have to think that way.”
Chris Tillman could be on a strict pitch count when he makes his first start for Triple-A Norfolk, similar to Brad Bergesen’s initial turn in the Tides’ rotation after being sent down.
“From what I understand, they need to map out that situation, see where he’s at, where the team is down in Norfolk and see when he’s going to be ready to pitch,” Samuel said.
Samuel was asked about the challenge of dealing with a struggling team while also hearing about the Orioles bringing in candidates to interview for the managerial position.
“I’m not worried about that,” he said. “You guys were at the press conference when it was brought up to me when I met with Andy (MacPhail) that it could be two months, three months, three years, but this is what we’re going to do. I accepted it. I’m fine with it. I’m enjoying this ride. I just wanted to make sure that we continue to do what we’re doing.
“If it happens, it happens, but I’m not losing any sleep over it. I’ve got a job to do on the field. I’m the manager right now and I’ve got 25 guys in that locker room that I need to answer to.”
Double-A Bowie left-hander Zach Britton will represent the Orioles in the Futures Game in Anaheim.