The Orioles will officially add pitcher Scott Feldman to their 25-man roster this afternoon and hand him the ball for tonight’s game against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
They must clear a spot for him, of course. They have an extra bench player and a bunch of left-handed starters lined up to face them.
Including John Danks last night, the Orioles are facing six southpaws in a span of eight games. Hector Santiago and Jose Quintana will start the last two games of this series for Chicago. Andy Pettitte is scheduled to start Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
The Rangers visit Camden Yards for a four-game series that begins Monday. Their first two starters are left-handers Derek Holland and Martin Perez.
The Orioles currently have an extra bench player. Do they choose to keep Danny Valencia as an extra right-handed bat? Would they option Ryan Flaherty, who won’t start against those lefties, and bring him back later?
Flaherty is 14-for-31 with four homers and nine RBIs in his last nine games, but Brian Roberts’ return has pushed him to the bench. The succession of left-handed starters would keep him there.
If Flaherty is optioned - and it’s just speculation here - he could return quickly once the Orioles begin to face more right-handed starters.
Chris Dickerson also bats from the left side, but he’s a backup at all three outfield positions.
Tough call. Let’s see how it plays out.
Maybe the left-handed opposing starters won’t influence the Orioles’ decision, but it’s worth noting.
Zach Britton is scheduled to start Thursday afternoon, with Miguel Gonzalez pushed back to Friday night at Yankee Stadium. Wei-Yin Chen could take Britton’s spot once he’s activated from the disabled list following his last injury-rehab start with Double-A Bowie, which takes place on the same night that Britton pitches for the Orioles.
Also, the Orioles announced that reliever Jon Rauch has been released after choosing to opt out of his contract at Norfolk.
Rauch let the first opt-out date pass on June 18, but now he’s gone.
Rauch was 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA in 10 relief appearances with the Tides. He allowed three runs and nine hits in 9 1/3 innings, with four walks, 10 strikeouts and two home runs.
Speaking of Norfolk, closer Jairo Asencio and outfielder Jason Pridie were chosen to the International League All-Star team, which will play against the Pacific Coast League All-Stars on July 17.
The starting time for the Orioles’ game against the White Sox on Saturday, Sept. 7 at Camden Yards has been changed from 7:05 p.m. to 1:05 p.m. to accommodate FOX. Eutaw Street gates will open at 11 a.m., with the rest of the ballpark opening at 11:30 a.m.