Looking back and ahead

It was strange to watch last night's game without my laptop in front of me or in the trunk of my car. I kept an eye on one of the 5,000 or so televisions at Looney's Pub in Bel Air and saw the Orioles fall behind big and storm back for a 10-8 victory over the Blue Jays.

It was nice to get confirmation that other teams can lose sizable leads.

Does Nelson Cruz look like a bargain to the rest of you?

Imagine how the lineup will look after Manny Machado comes off the disabled list. He's scheduled to play nine innings at third base Friday night at Single-A Frederick and is expected to spend the entire weekend with the Keys.

Fans keep asking me to predict which starter at Triple-A Norfolk is next man up for the Orioles. I keep replying that it depends on a number of factors which can't be determined on this date.

Who's the most effective starter for the Tides? Who's rested and available to start on a particular night? Is he going into the rotation or being used in relief, which is the case with left-hander T.J. McFarland?

Kevin Gausman was sick at the beginning of Norfolk's season and later developed a blister on his right middle finger. The Orioles have him on a strict pitch count, keeping him around 70. Doesn't sound like he's ready.

Not that it matters. There's currently no opening in the rotation.

Suk-min Yoon also is being stretched out, leaving yesterday's game for Norfolk after five innings and 87 pitches. Steve Johnson is on the disabled list with a sore right shoulder and will need to get back on the active roster and build up his innings and stats.

Johnson will have a bullpen session today to further test the shoulder, which felt fine when he threw a few days ago.

Mike Wright has given up only three earned runs in his first 17 innings at Norfolk, but 26 of his 27 starts last season came at Double-A Bowie. If there's a pecking order, he figures to be at the back of the line. But that can change.

At some point, we can begin to factor Johan Santana into the equation. And Dylan Bundy is now throwing his curveball, which takes him a step closer to Double-A Bowie. Promising rehab news from Sarasota.

Bud Norris makes his first career start tonight at Rogers Centre. He's allowed three runs and 12 hits in 11 innings lifetime against the Blue Jays.

On April 12, Norris shut out the Blue Jays over seven innings and stood to get the win before Colby Rasmus' game-tying home run off closer Tommy Hunter.

Rasmus is 4-for-25 lifetime against Norris, including two doubles and a home run. Melky Cabrera is 3-for-7.

Norris is 0-2 with a 7.15 ERA over 11 1/3 innings in two road starts this season.

Drew Hutchison opposed Norris back on April 12 and shut out the Orioles over six innings. In his next start, he struck out nine Indians in 5 1/3 innings.

Hutchison has allowed two runs and 13 hits in 18 career innings against the Orioles, with six walks and 16 strikeouts. Nick Markakis is 4-for-9 against him.

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