NEW YORK - Orioles manager Buck Showalter isn’t certain whether Michael Morse will join the team Saturday or Sunday.
Showalter spoke to Morse earlier today after the Orioles acquired him from the Mariners for Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Xavier Avery. Morse will go directly from Houston to New York.
“He and Jessica are trying to round up their life and head this way shortly,” Showalter said.
“He’s a professional hitter with some pedigree of success. Big, strong hitter that can play outfield, first base, DH. Somebody we thought about off and on. Been on the radar. Something that Dan (Duquette) and I have been talking about and it kind of came together toward the end. Came together pretty quickly when they agreed on the player going back.
“He presents options for us. Left field, if we want to DH Nicky (Markakis) one day in right. He can play some first base if something happens with Chris (Davis), give him a day DH’ing. It seems like every left-hander alive and breathing is going to come out of the woodwork. He can help us with that some.”
Could Morse provide a shot in the arm to a team that’s got one off-day in September and a host of games against division opponents and playoff contenders?
“Potentially,” Showalter replied. “We think that’s got a potential to happen some with Wilson (Betemit). Some of the other guys are coming back.
“That energy should come from the people you already have, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to get a proven major league run producer like Michael.”
Jason Hammel began his injury-rehab assignment last night by throwing 2 2/3 scoreless innings and 47 pitches at Double-A Bowie. He’s scheduled to start again on Sept. 3 at short-season Single-A Aberdeen, with a pitch count of 60-65. The Orioles want to extend him to five innings.
Hammel will throw a bullpen session Saturday at Yankee Stadium before heading to Aberdeen. The Orioles intend to activate him from the disabled list on Sept. 7 or 8.
Showalter described the reports on Hammel as “good.”
“He felt good physically,” Showalter said. “In fact, he’s going to probably take his work day here with us on his way to Aberdeen. Figure that direction. No, I just want to get my arms around it and take a look. He’s on a rehab assignment, so it’s legal, I’m told. He’ll probably take a train up here tonight or tomorrow and take his work day here with Billy (Castro) tomorrow morning.
“I don’t know if he knows that he’s pitching for Aberdeen yet. Should be their last game of the season. They’re one game up now. They had a big game last night.”
Infielder Ryan Flaherty, transferred from low Single-A Delmarva to high Single-A Frederick, will be recalled on Sept. 3. The Orioles optioned him while activating Betemit from the disabled list.
Wei-Yin Chen is expected to be at Yankee Stadium on Saturday and will start the following day after being recalled. The Orioles optioned Chen so they could recall Kevin Gausman.
Infielder Dan Johnson, signed to a minor league deal today, has joined Norfolk and is taking Avery’s spot on the roster.
Asked about Avery’s departure, Showalter said, “It’s a tribute to our scouting and player development that we develop a player to the point where we could get Michael back for him. It’s a good spot for him.
“I’m happy for Xavier. He’s really come on here at the end and did well in Double-A this year and I’m sure they saw him real good the last couple of weeks. He fits them well.”