This blog entry is going to shift in many directions, so buckle up or grab onto the railing.
The Orioles will announce their corresponding roster move today after optioning Kevin Gausman late last night. They have a spot open on their 40-man roster, though they’ll need it for Tsuyoshi Wada once his 30-day rehab assignment ends this weekend. The plan is to put him on the 40-man and option him, with his consent, to Triple-A Norfolk.
Josh Stinson, Jair Jurrjens and Zach Britton are three possibilities to go from Norfolk’s rotation to the Orioles’ bullpen. The only issue with Britton is he threw six innings and 100 pitches on Monday and would be working on short rest if needed tonight in relief.
Jake Arrieta hasn’t pitched since Sunday, but he’s given up 15 runs and 19 hits in his last two starts covering 10 1/3 innings. The Orioles really would like to put him in their bullpen, but they need better results from him at Norfolk.
Of course, this is all temporary. Gausman will be back in 10 days, or sooner if Miguel Gonzalez goes on paternity leave. When Gonzalez returns, a reliever is sent back down.
Jon Rauch can opt out of his Norfolk contract in four days. He’s allowed one run and four hits in 4 1/3 innings, with three walks (one intentional), four strikeouts and two wild pitches. His fastball is topping out in the upper 80s. The reports on him haven’t been glowing.
Nate McLouth’s streak of 19 consecutive stolen bases ended Wednesday afternoon after his foot allegedly came off the bag as he came up out of his slide. The club record is 36 in a row by Brady Anderson.
Did you know that Twins catcher Matt Walbeck threw out Anderson to start the streak and threw him out to end it?
Anderson stole second base to give him 35 successful attempts in a row. He tried to swipe third and was cut down.
Former Orioles catcher Chris Hoiles is remembered for his power at the plate and his toughness behind it. He also was the only guy Mike Mussina wanted to pitch to, and the last guy Scott Erickson wanted to pitch to.
Did you know that Hoiles had a career OBP of .366 over 10 major league seasons, including .416 in 1993? Neither did I until it was shown to me yesterday.
I’ve been asked which starter will leave the rotation once Wei-Yin Chen is ready to be activated from the 15-day disabled list. The Orioles would consider moving Freddy Garcia to the bullpen. Also Gausman if he’s struggling as a starter, though I’m sure there would be lots of discussion about keeping him on a five-day schedule in the minors.
The issue, of course, is making room for another reliever. Yes, I know, lots of you want Pedro Strop to be designated for assignment. By the time Chen is ready, that may become more of a possibility. Let’s see how Strop follows up on Wednesday afternoon’s, shall we say, sub-par performance.
The Orioles really want to hold onto Rule 5 pick T.J. McFarland.
Did you know that last night marked only the fourth time in 15 outings that McFarland has worked fewer than two innings?
Did you know that Chris Tillman’s 15 wins since July 4, 2012 are tied for the third-most in the American League behind Max Scherzer (18) and Justin Verlander (17)? Hisashi Iwakuma also has 15 wins in that span.
Did you know that before last night, the Orioles had the highest bullpen ERA in the majors since May 14 at 6.15, after having the lowest in the American League and second-lowest in the majors through May 13 at 2.64?
You know what happened last night. The ‘pen allowed two runs and three hits - all from Brian Matusz - over 7 2/3 innings.
Danny Valencia is 9-for-25 (.360) with five doubles and a home run against left-handers this season. He’s recorded an extra-base hit in four of his last five games.
Matt Wieters had thrown out 12 of 24 basestealers this season, the best mark in the majors. He cut down Jacoby Ellsbury in the seventh inning last night, ending the Boston center fielder’s streak at 18 in a row. Ellsbury swiped second base in the 10th inning after reaching on catcher’s interference.
Manager Buck Showalter was more impressed by Wieters’ throw in the 10th, which was timed at 1.78 seconds to second base. That’s incredible.
“I had John (Russell) go up and time the throw to second,” Showalter said. “That’s about as good a throw... That tells you how good Ellsbury is, too.
“That’s hard to do physically. That’s about as good a throw as I’ve seen him make. That’s one of those you kind of step back and go, ‘Golly, I’m glad I got to watch that.’ You start judging guys according to that, it’s not fair to whoever you’re judging.”