Orioles manager Buck Showalter will announce his starter for Friday night at the conclusion of tonight’s game against the Indians.
Showalter made the decision earlier this week, but he hasn’t confirmed it with reporters. Kevin Gausman is expected to take the ball against the Yankees. Showalter just wanted to make sure that the rookie wasn’t needed in relief.
“We’ll see how we get through tonight, but we’re all set,” Showalter said. “Everything’s in place to cover our bullpen like we’re always trying to do. We’ve got two guys who we feel like can do it physically and defend themselves.”
Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland also was a consideration.
Gausman hasn’t pitched since June 19 at Triple-A Norfolk, but he had a light work day this week and is “fine,” Showalter said.
What about the challenge of facing the Yankees in his sixth major league game?
“I’m more interested in him staying focused on Cleveland tonight, and McFarland, and anybody that’s an option, because Cleveland is presenting quite a challenge,” Showalter said.
The Orioles haven’t provided an update on Dylan Bundy’s elbow surgery, which was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in Gulf Breeze, Fla. Dr. James Andrews will contact the club after completing all of the surgeries on his schedule today.
Am I the only person who had no idea that Gulf Breeze, Fla. was in the central time zone?
Showalter was pleased to learn that Freddy Garcia signed a minor league contract with the Orioles today after declining the option, which removed him from the 40-man roster.
“We were hoping he would,” Showalter said. “It worked out good for both sides and presented some depth for us. And we like the way Freddy’s handled himself professionally and pitching at times at both levels.
“I felt like all things being equal, unless he had a for-sure major league job, that he would stay with us. He likes it here. He likes the way he’s treated and the way things are done.”
Garcis could start for Norfolk or work out of the bullpen, depending on the needs of the club.
“Freddy’s going to get the ball consistently in some form or fashion,” Showalter said.
Showalter said the reports on Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia, promoted today from Double-A Bowie to Norfolk, include how he’s improved defensively.
“I think Nolan (Reimold) made a great play down there when he first got there, backhand and throw to second, and I think they used it as a tool with Hank to say, ‘This is what’s expected there,’” Showalter said. “His baserunning and his defensive play has really come on in the last couple of weeks.”
Closer Jim Johnson is 30 years old today. If he picked up a save tonight, he’d become the fifth Orioles reliever to do so on his birthday since 1969, when the save became an official statistic. Johnson would join Grant Jackson (1973), Tippy Martinez (1982), Tom Niedenfuer (1987) and Randy Myers (1996).
Johnson has appeared in three straight games, so it’s highly unlikely that he’s available tonight. But I thought I would mention it anyway.
The Orioles were 75-1 when leading after eight innings last season. They’re 35-6 this year, and the six losses are the most in the majors.