The five open dates in June provide more than just rest for the Orioles. They allow manager Buck Showalter and president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail to more easily practice what they preach.
If you’re not doing the job, we’ll find someone else who will.
It figured to be one or the other when the Orioles had to create room for left-hander Brian Matusz, who will start Wednesday in Seattle, but both pitchers will join Triple-A Norfolk’s rotation.
Showalter can go with a four-man rotation for a while. And he’ll have an extra bullpen arm when Chris Jakubauskas arrives at Safeco Field.
Bergesen and Tillman can try to grab the Orioles’ attention again and fill that fifth spot in the rotation. Jason Berken is being stretched out at Norfolk and must have visions of beating them back to Baltimore.
The roster figured to undergo changes, but that was quite a flurry over the weekend.
Could Alfredo Simon sneak into the rotation next month on the rare occasions, and I’m counting two, when a fifth starter is needed?
Perhaps, but it’s a little unsettling that he mentioned how he was tired while working his second inning on Friday.
Justin Duchscherer is eligible to come off the disabled list today, but his timetable has changed so many times, it no longer exists. He pitched three innings over the weekend in an extended spring training game. That’s a long way from Camden Yards.
Here’s some good news for the Orioles: They got out of Oakland, where they’re 1-12 since 2008.
They went 0-3 at Safeco Field last year and were outscored, 41-26, in the season series, but it still feels like a reprieve compared to McAfee Coliseum, where the name keeps changing, but not the results.
If the Orioles petitioned to leave the AL East, they’d need to avoid the West. They can’t afford to play any more games in Oakland.
Adam Jones indicated that he’ll be ready to play today after leaving yesterday’s game with a sore shoulder. If he’s unavailable, Felix Pie will likely start in center field against Mariners right-hander Doug Fister.
Showalter can choose to start Nolan Reimold in left field and Luke Scott at first base, or Scott in left field and Jake Fox at first base. He also could start Fox in left and Scott at first.
My guess: Reimold would start in left and Scott would play first base.
Scott has been dealing with a sore shoulder. Now Jones has a similar problem. But their obliques and intercostals are fine, so no worries.
Speaking of musical outfielders, Ryan Adams pinch-hit for Pie with two outs in the ninth inning yesterday and popped up. If the Orioles had rallied to tie, I wondered who would play center field with Jones already out of the game.
The two likely scenarios were Robert Andino going to center and Adams playing second, or Reimold moving to center, Scott going to left and Fox playing first.
Fister is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two career starts against the Orioles. He’s allowed four runs and 13 hits in 12 innings, with one walk and seven strikeouts.
Jones, Scott, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters are 2-for-6 against Fister. J.J. Hardy is 3-for-9 and Vladimir Guerrero is 3-for-10.
Don’t look now, but left-hander Mark Hendrickson is on quite a roll at Norfolk. In his last two appearances, he’s allowed no runs and two hits in 7 1/3 innings. In his last four, he’s allowed two runs and nine hits in 14 1/3.
I have a feeling we’ll be seeing him again this summer.
As long as you’re not looking, Jeremy Accardo hasn’t allowed a run in his last four appearances covering six innings.
He shut out the A’s yesterday over 1 1/3 innings, and he threw only 11 pitches. His 3.96 ERA is the lowest it’s been since May 6.
Single-A Delmarva shortstop Manny Machado could play in his first extended spring training game today as he continues his recovering from a dislocated kneecap.