The tarp’s on the field, it’s pouring rain and the forecast is dismal.
We won’t start on time.
Endy Chavez continues to receive treatment for a sore intercostal muscle, and it’s quite possible that he goes on the disabled list.
“Last night before the game, he said it was the best he’s felt, but the last at-bat he felt it a little bit,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Showalter never confirms whether a player is unavailable because he wants the opposing manager to think he’s operating with a full bench.
“I’m not going to tell you yes or no, but he’s available to us in some form or fashion tonight,” Showalter said.
Steve Tollenson’s contract was purchased so he could provide infield and outfield depth. He’s an option to start in left field or to back up at a variety of positions while Ryan Flaherty plays left.
“We need the depth in the infield, and he can play left field, right field, short, third and second,” Showalter said. “He serves a need we have and he’s swinging the bat as well as anybody they have down there. I was impressed by him in spring training. I think as the week develops, it will reveal itself a little bit more as to why this is happening in the sequence this is happening.”
In other words, Chavez could go on the disabled list. And if that happens, the Orioles could recall Tommy Hunter to make tomorrow night’s start on short rest.
“We’ll see where each night takes us,” Showalter said. “We’ve got some moving parts right now. We’re waiting on some health-related tings that we have to be on top of that will change how we do things. But Stevie’s played a lot of places.
“Talked to Ron (Johnson) last night. He was up getting his lineup ready for Norfolk’s 11 o’clock game this morning. There were some people to pick from. It wasn’t clear cut. But for what our needs are right now, we wanted to go with Stevie.”
A replacement for Jason Hammel, who will be skipped tomorrow night, won’t come from the bullpen.
“I wouldn’t do that with our ‘pen because if you pitch a game out of your ‘pen, you’re right back where you were again,” Showalter said.
“I think we’ve got two ways we can go and we’re going to see what the next day or two brings.”
Zach Britton makes the first of his three starts at extended spring training tomorrow in Sarasota. The Orioles won’t accelerate his schedule, no matter how he’s feeling and no matter how badly they need pitching.
“We’re going to keep him right on his program,” Showalter said. “We’re going to get that one right. And so far, so good.”