Jair Jurrjens made today’s start for Triple-A Norfolk and has allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings, with no walks and five strikeouts.
Former Orioles farmhand Mike Constanzo, part of the Miguel Tejada trade with the Houston Astros, homered off Jurrjens as the Syracuse Chiefs’ designated hitter today.
The Orioles are down to three starters with Miguel Gonzalez on the disabled list and Wei-Yin Chen being re-evaluated today after leaving yesterday’s start with a strained right oblique or cramping.
Jurrjens is a candidate to have his contract selected from Norfolk, though he wouldn’t be available before Saturday.
Chris Tillman is starting Tuesday’s series opener against the San Diego Padres at Camden Yards. Manager Buck Showalter is deciding between Freddy Garcia and Jason Hammel for Wednesday.
If he keeps them in order, Garcia would pitch Wednesday afternoon and Hammel would start Friday night’s series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays. Garcia is 4-2 with a 2.51 ERA and one complete game in nine starts against the Padres. Hammel is 4-2 with a 5.03 ERA in 12 games (11 starts) against them.
If Chen is fine, he could start Saturday against the Rays with an extra day of rest. If he goes on the disabled list, Steve Johnson could be recalled and make the start on two extra days of rest if the Orioles pass on Jurrjens.
Johnson won’t have to stay down for a minimum 10 days if he’s replacing an injured player.
The Orioles are expected to have an update on Chen later this afternoon.
Tillman could close out the Rays series on Sunday.
The two off days this week arrived at the perfect time for the Orioles, though not necessarily for Jurrjens, who was tied for the International League lead with four wins and ranked ninth with a 2.62 ERA before today. Jurrjens has earned a victory in each of his last four starts, and he leads Norfolk with six quality starts this season.
Jurrjens can opt out of his contract on June 15.
Update:Jurrjens allowed five runs and seven hits in seven innings, with no walks, six strikeouts and one home run. He threw 81 pitches, 59 for strikes.
Four of the runs scored in the fourth inning.