A call to arms

The Orioles gained a game on the Yankees last night.

You can look it up.

Take full advantage of them while A-Rod is gone.

Brian Matusz doesn't look like a young pitcher needs to be shut down in September. He's allowed one earned run or fewer in four of his last five starts and has posted a 2.32 ERA this month.

Brian-Matusz_White-Tall.jpg

I'm still wondering how the rotation will look over the final weeks of the season. The Orioles don't seem eager to add an extra starter, especially with two veterans who prefer to stay in their normal routine and four off-days approaching, but what's the solution?

We've discussed how they would like to move Kevin Millwood to a contender, which would free up one spot for Chris Tillman. Left-hander Zach Britton looked like a certainly to be shut down by the time rosters expanded, but the Orioles are considering a promotion. And they want Rick VandenHurk to make a few starts before the season ends.

I'm doing the math and I'm still counting eight pitchers.

Jake Arrieta starts tonight, and he held Texas to one earned run (two total) in 6 2/3 innings in his last outing. He's surrendered three earned runs or fewer in four of his last five turns, though he was removed after 4 1/3 innings in Kansas City.

Is he a shutdown candidate?

I think it's important for manager Buck Showalter to take a look at Tillman and Britton while getting a head start on spring training and the 2011 season, but only if Britton isn't at risk. The new guy in charge can only go by what he's heard and read. At least he saw VandenHurk for a grand total of one inning.

I don't know how they're going to do it, but the rotation needs to be adjusted. And it's going to be quite a challenge.

Maybe they could pretend it's spring training and play intrasquad games during the off-days. Yeah, that would go over big.

Down on the farm, Joel Guzman hit his 29th home run last night, leaving him five short of the Double-A Bowie record held by Walter Young, who shouldn't be confused with Calvin Pickering.

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