Remember when the Orioles’ rotation on opening day included Tommy Hunter, Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta?
Arrieta became the latest starter to be optioned to Triple-A Norfolk. The Orioles made the announcement following last night’s game in Anaheim - which became this morning’s game as it played out.
I checked Twitter and my e-mails for the final time about five minutes before they sent out the press release. Around here, it’s never safe to close your eyes. You might miss another roster move.
Arrieta lasted only 3 2/3 innings in back-to-back starts, and manager Buck Showalter clearly lost patience with him. That much was obvious from his first mound visit last night, before he returned to take the ball in the fourth inning. You could see the smoke coming out of his ears.
I was expecting the Miami Hurricane to run through the tunnel.
The Orioles don’t need another starter with the All-Star break coming and could choose to add a position player with Chris Davis and Mark Reynolds banged up.
Davis was scratched from the lineup last night with a sore trapezius muscle. Reynolds was hit on the back of the left hand, but he stayed in the game. One of them would have to go on the disabled list for infielder/outfielder Steve Tolleson to be recalled.
A second transaction would need to be made with Arrieta sent down. Steve Johnson can’t return without a corresponding DL move.
Jason Hammel and Wei-Yin Chen remain in the rotation. Chris Tillman joined them on Wednesday and will return immediately after the break. Miguel Gonzalez will start tonight.
Not exactly the way Showalter drew it up in spring training.
Arrieta, the opening day starter, is 3-9 with a 6.13 ERA in 18 outings. His next one will come in Norfolk.
This time, the Orioles aren’t talking about letting him work through his problems in the bullpen. It will have to happen in the International League, where Hunter and Matusz will be waiting for him.
The latest development with Arrieta should increase the urgency for executive vice president Dan Duquette to trade for another starting pitcher. The Orioles have been in the market for one almost since the season began, and nothing that’s happened over the past week should change his mind.