The Orioles are prepared to make two roster moves tomorrow after Dana Eveland threw 77 pitches in 3 2/3 innings and Tommy Hunter threw 51 in 1 2/3 relief innings in an 11-5 loss to the Indians before 35,335 at Camden Yards.
Veteran designated hitter Jim Thome will arrive tomorrow, but the Orioles apparently aren’t ready to go back to a four-man bench with left-hander Brian Matusz starting the series finale.
Miguel Gonzalez was scratched from tonight’s start at Triple-A Norfolk, with Oscar Villarreal taking his turn. It’s fair to assume that Gonzalez is headed back to Baltimore, perhaps as Hunter’s replacement on the 25-man roster.
The Orioles are hurting in the bullpen with Matt Lindstrom also unavailable after throwing 31 pitches in one inning today.
“We kept (Troy) Patton out of the game,” said manager Buck Showalter. “We were hoping Dana could give us four to five good innings, but Cleveland didn’t let him. Obviously, we’ll need some length tomorrow. We’ll see what we’re going to do.
“We’ve got some guys we want to stay away from tomorrow.”
Showalter will welcome Thome, who gives the Orioles a bigger presence in the middle of their lineup.
“I think everybody in baseball has been a fan of Jim, the way he carries himself and conducts himself,” Showalter said. “The most important thing is, this is a guy that can help us with some things between the lines and outside the lines.”
Showalter views Thome strictly as a designated hitter. The Orioles have enough challenges defensively on the infield corners.
“If you’ve got an opportunity to add him to the mix, you always want to try to do it,” Showalter said. “Hats off to our minor league departments and scouting to have the type of players that can bring him over here.”
Thome and Orioles first base coach Wayne Kirby were teammates in Cleveland. Kirby was an outfielder for the Indians from 1991 to 1996.
“Class A. Goes about the game the right way. Professional. Treats everyone with respect, and he will help you,” Kirby said.
“You’ve got to look at this guy’s presence. He’s going to help in the lineup, he’s going to protect some people in the lineup and he still can hit the ball out of the ballpark. We’ve got Jonesy, Wieters, Davis. A little more thump, a little more presence. He knows how to play the game. Put it that way. He’s an RBI machine. He didn’t get where he got from not doing it. And he comes from a National League team like Philly and doesn’t play as much, then in interleague play he starts hitting.”
Asked if Camden Yards will be a good fit, Kirby replied, “It’s power. No ballpark can hold that guy. His power, his ability to adjust and his ability to hit. By all means, he’s not an easy out. He’s not an easy out at all.”