The Orioles optioned Tommy Hunter today, destination unknown, and designated left-hander J.C. Romero for assignment. They recalled left-hander Brian Matusz and activated infielder Ryan Flaherty from the disabled list.
Matusz is the only left-hander in the bullpen, but the Orioles could select Zach Phillips’ contract from Triple-A Norfolk. It’s still being discussed.
Hunter will be assigned to Norfolk or Double-A Bowie.
Romero is considering retirement. He’s headed to his Alabama home to be with his family before the storm hits and will make a decision later.
Jason Hammel threw a two-inning simulated game today, totaling around 40 pitches, and said his knee felt good. He still needs to work on his mechanics and his command.
Hammel expects to throw another simulated game before going out on a rehab assignment, but manager Buck Showalter said, “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow before setting the next part of his schedule. So far, so good.”
Steve Johnson will start on Saturday against the Blue Jays, as expected. No starters have been announced for Wednesday or Thursday’s games against the While Sox.
Wilson Betemit, on the disabled list with a wrist injury, will hit Monday and could go on a rehab assignment by Tuesday or Wednesday. The Orioles want to get him out of Sarasota to stay ahead of the hurricane.
Jim Thome and Troy Patton aren’t close to going on rehab assignments, so they’ll have to remain in Sarasota.
Showalter smiled when asked if there could be any surprises in the rotation once rosters expand on Sept. 1. It was a clear reference to Dylan Bundy.
It appears more likely that the Orioles will recall Bundy. It’s just a matter of when and in what role. One rumor has the Orioles bringing him up on Aug. 31 and giving him a September start at home, but the club isn’t showing its hand.
For the Blue Jays:
Rajai Davis LF
Colby Rasmus CF
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Kelly Johnson 2B
Moises Sierra DH
Mike McCoy 3B
Jeff Mathis C
Adeiny Hechavarria SS
Carlos Villanueva RHP