Because You Asked - The Squeakquel

I’m asked and I answer. I’m asked again and I answer again.

And so it goes.

I created the “Because You Asked” series, with all of its cheesy sequels, to provide one-stop shopping for fans who keep bringing the same questions to my doorstep. This way, I can answer everyone simultaneously.

Let’s get started.

Have you got any updates on Dylan Bundy?
This one puzzles me. Bundy underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. There’s nothing to update beyond what he ate for breakfast and whether he cast a vote on “Dancing With the Stars.” He’s shut down. He won’t pitch again until, hopefully, next summer. Depends on his recovery.

Have you got any updates on Bobby Bundy?
Dylan’s older brother underwent surgery in June to remove a bone chip from his right elbow. He hasn’t pitched since making 17 starts for Double-A Bowie in 2012. He had surgery last summer to remove bone spurs from his elbow. That’s all I’ve got.

What will the Orioles do with their rotation when Jason Hammel comes back?
Build an addition to it. Who’s got the 2x4s and sheetrock? Manager Buck Showalter could go with a pseudo six-man rotation, as he did last summer. Skip one starter, then reinsert him and rest someone else. It’s not like there’s room in the bullpen before rosters expand in September.

Will we see Tsuyoshi Wada?
You mean without driving to Norfolk?

Of course. Will we see him at Camden Yards?
You mean without him having to buy a ticket or take the press box tour?

This is getting tiresome.
Yes, I think we’ll see Wada. The Orioles needed his consent before optioning him to Norfolk once he came off the disabled list. He’s likely to push for a promotion now, feeling as though he’s ready. In his last two starts, he’s walked two and struck out 17 over 11 2/3 scoreless innings. The Orioles keep saying that they only view him as a starter, not a reliever. Well, good luck making room for him, too.

When will the Orioles bring up Jonathan Schoop?
There isn’t a set date for his arrival. At the latest, it will happen when rosters expand. The Orioles already have three second basemen, so there’s really not a spot for him at the moment unless the Orioles want to use him as a right-handed designated hitter/pinch-hitter. He’s better served played every day at Norfolk.

What’s the plan for Kevin Gausman?
Maybe he can drive Wada and Schoop to Baltimore. Right now, the plan is to have him start at Norfolk, with the Orioles carefully monitoring his innings so he’s available to them in September and beyond. He could shift to the bullpen again. Let’s see how the starters are faring. And let’s see whether he’s stretched out enough to be an option for the rotation later.

Do you think the Orioles will make another trade before the Aug. 31 deadline?
Yes. I think they’ll try to add another bat, preferably from the right side. They have a history of making deals before rosters have to be set for the postseason. We’re not talking uncharted territory here. But I don’t know who and I don’t know when. I’m just guessing that it happens, and the focus will be on a hitter.

Do you think Danny Valencia is pressing because of the Biogenesis investigation?
Oops. This is an old one. But no, he wasn’t pressing because of Biogenesis. I’m assuming that teams knew which players were going to be suspended. I kept talking to Orioles officials about it, and they would respond with, “I’m told we’re fine,” or something along those lines. Valencia doubled and homered the day before Major League Baseball released the names of the suspended players. He may have been more distracted by Genesis. Are they still together?

There may have been a reunion. Speaking of music, why does Nate McLouth use “Kyrie” as his walk-up song?
Nate is a big fan of 80s pop and he loves that song. If he changed it, he assured me that he would choose something from Journey. I’m thinking “Open Arms” would be a bit of a reach. Most likely, he’d go with “Separate Ways,” which he had blaring in his SUV one day upon arriving in the players lot.

Why does Buck keep leaving his starters in the game for too long?
There are different variables that play into these decisions. Maybe some relievers aren’t available. Maybe the starter still seems, at least in his opinion, to have good stuff. Maybe it’s a matchup thing. Maybe Buck doesn’t want to keep pulling his starters after six innings and taxing his ‘pen. He certainly has reason to shorten the leash on Wei-Yin Chen in the later innings and after a certain pitch count. The numbers back it up.

Why does Buck pull his starters so quickly instead of letting them get deeper in games?
Wait... what?

Does the trade for Francisco Rodriguez mean the Orioles might not keep Jim Johnson as their closer?
No. And I answered this one before K-Rod gave up four home runs in his first four outings. Jim Johnson is the closer on this team. Rodriguez is a late-inning arm to assist guys like Darren O’Day and Tommy Hunter. He also can close if Johnson is unavailable, though he may not be the first choice.

Whatever happened to that New Zealand softball player whose name I can never remember?
That would be Pita Rona. Standard spelling. The 19-year-old has played in 10 games with the Gulf Coast League team, batting .125 with a double, home run and four RBIs.

No relation to Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta, right?
That makes no sense.

What day is it, Roch? Come on, say it. Say it!
It’s Hump Day.

Woo hoo!

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