What will the Orioles do with Wada?

While the Orioles continue to gradually expand their roster, left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada remains in Sarasota. Away from the team. His major league debut still an uncertainty.

Other players have hopped on planes to join the Orioles. For Wada, only his future is up in the air.

Here’s what I know: There are people in the organization who would like for Wada to pitch for the Orioles this month in some capacity. There also are some folks who don’t think it’s a good idea to experiment in a pennant race, especially a starting assignment.

No matter how effective Wada became in Triple-A Norfolk’s rotation, and we’re talking about a guy who allowed one earned run or fewer in five of his last six starts, it would still be experimenting. He’s never pitched at this level.

The counter argument is he couldn’t do worse than a few others who have been handed the ball. May as well give him a shot. Keep someone ready in the bullpen in case of an early exit.

The Orioles are paying Wada $8.15 million and have nothing to show for it. They hold a $5 million option for 2014, but they won’t pick it up.

For now, he remains on the taxi squad in Sarasota - not to be confused with the instructional league. He’s throwing, keeping loose, staying ready in case he gets the call.

Will it come?

“He’s down there now. We’ll see if there’s a need,” said manager Buck Showalter.

“A lot of it has got to do with our competitive situation over the course of the rest of the season.”

Norfolk pitching coach Mike Griffin has joined the staff and remains upbeat about Wada. You can read my interview with him here.

“We still have the ability to obviously make some adjustments with our roster if we want to,” Showalter said.

That includes Zach Britton.

The Orioles don’t know whether Britton will start for short-season Single-A Abedeen in the New York-Penn League playoffs. Showalter has mentioned Sunday and Tuesday as possibilities.

Britton was “a little sore” yesterday, according to Showalter, who added that the left-hander could be used in relief if he doesn’t start. Or he may not get into a game. It’s also up in the air.

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