The Orioles have made two changes to their 25-man roster.
Jim Thome is serving as the designated hitter today after being acquired from the Phillies in yesterday’s trade, and right-hander Miguel Gonzalez will work out of the bullpen as a long man.
Tommy Hunter was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk last night, and outfielder Xavier Avery was optioned this morning after being recalled for a second time on Thursday.
Avery’s batting .222 with five doubles, a triple, one home run, six RBIs and 10 runs scored in 18 games with the Orioles. He has options remaining. Steve Pearce does not.
“With the All-Star break, the potential to get him back gets the 10 days taken quicker,” said manager Buck Showalter.
Gonzalez’s role could change, but today he’s needed in the bullpen to back up Brian Matusz if the left-hander makes an early exit.
“I hope we can get back to where we were that our guy who was doing long relief wasn’t pitching very much,” Showalter said.
The Orioles could bring up another pitcher after today’s game depending how much the bullpen is used.
“We have that potential,” Showalter said. “We’ve got some people (at Norfolk) who are making it a competitive situation. We’ve been pretty set for the most part rotation-wise with very few things, but I think our guys understand that some things won’t be looked at as good enough if they continue.”
Showalter was asked whether the Orioles could bring up top prospect Dylan Bundy, currently pitching at Single-A Frederick, if they’re in a pennant race in September.
“It seems like he’s found a level that presents the right challenges for him at this stage of his career in the Carolina League,” Showalter said.
“There are, if you do the mathematics of where we’re taking his innings compared to last year, it leaves that buffer if we so choose and if he is still worthy. We can go a lot of different directions with that. So the possibility is in place, but it’s something that I think we’re a long way from. One, we’ve got to do that first part (contend) you talked about and he’s going to have to do his part. But we’re real happy with where he is in his player development.
“Coming into the year, and I think he’s at a level now, as I’m sure you’ve been watching, that he’s getting challenged to throw secondary pitches to shorten up his time to the plate, to do some things with baserunners that he hasn’t had to do, and ride a little bit longer bus rides. So far, so good. I think everybody, if we’d taken this where he was in his development at this stage before the year started, we’d have been real happy with it. But I talked to Brian (Graham) and those guys a lot, and they’re real happy with where he is and real happy with (Manny) Machado and (Jonathan) Schoop and Xavier and LJ Hoes. Those guys are really starting to point up.”
For the Indians:
Shin-Soo Choo RF
Asdrubal Cabrera DH
Jason Kipnis 2B
Jose Lopez 3B
Shelley Duncan LF
Casey Kotchman 1B
Jason Donald SS
Lou Marson C
Aaron Cunningham CF
Justin Masterson RHP