“It’s always a challenge to change catchers during the season because the catcher is involved in so many facets of the game,” Duquette said. “Fortunately, we’ve been able to transition from Matt as an everyday catcher to a tandem of Caleb and Nick Hundley during the season and remain competitive, and recently our pitching has come around.
“That’s a very challenging position change to make on the fly and the organization did a good job with the transition with this team. I’ve tried that transition a couple other times and it’s a very difficult transition to make and maintain our winning ballclub. We also have Steve Clevenger, a left-handed hitter, as a complement to the current catchers. And he’s doing a good job with the bat in particular. And we have some young catchers developing down below.
“It’s real difficult to make the transition and our club made a successful transition and maintained a highly competitive team. Everybody deserves credit for that - Buck (Showalter), Dave Wallace, John Russell. Matt helped. Matt assisted with that transition. But it’s a real challenge and we met the challenge so far.”
Duquette confirmed that Korean pitcher Suk-min Yoon was diagnosed with a right shoulder impingement, which led to his placement today on Triple-A Norfolk’s disabled list.
Yoon is 3-7 with a 5.76 ERA in 15 starts with Norfolk. He’s allowed 95 hits in 75 innings.
Yoon gave up six runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings Saturday against Indianapolis.
“We’re going to rest him for a start,” Duquette said. “We put him on the disabled list and sent him to the doctor and then we’ll see how he does in about a week. He pitched effectively into his start for about five innings and then he had some issues in the sixth.”
Duquette said Dylan Bundy could move up a few levels after Friday night’s start at short-season Single-A Aberdeen. Bundy could leapfrog the Single-A affiliates.
“We were going to see how he does and then see if we wanted to send him to Bowie,” Duquette said.
Duquette attended Saturday night’s game at Aberdeeen, when Bundy tossed five scoreless innings and struck out nine.
“He looked pretty good, right?” Duquette said. “He had good command of his fastball and threw some breaking balls for strikes and used his changeup. He was really on his game for the first couple of innings and I think he got a little bit fatigued, but overall he looked pretty good.”
Veteran left-hander Randy Wolf is expected to pitch for Norfolk Tuesday night at Pawtucket after passing his physical. The Orioles reached agreement with Wolf yesterday on a minor league contract.
“We were looking for depth and Randy did a good job for us last time he was here, helped us win a couple games,” Duquette said. “Pitched a good game early in the year against Tampa for the Marlins, so he gives us experience and depth from the left side. He’s been throwing effectively with both the Mariners and the Marlins. We saw him in spring training with the Mariners and we had him under consideration when he signed with the Marlins.”
Wolf went 2-0 with a 5.28 ERA in five games with the Orioles in 2012 before undergoing a second “Tommy John” surgery on his left elbow.
“You know what Randy Wolf did? When he left here, he recommended the Orioles,” Duquette said. “He liked it here and he recommended the Orioles to a couple of players. Ryan Webb signed with us. He said Randy gave us a good review. He liked it here. He liked playing for Buck and he liked the Orioles.”
Another veteran left-hander, reliever Clay Rapada, also was signed and added to Norfolk’s roster.
“That was additional left-handed depth at Triple-A,” Duquette said. “Rapada is a left-handed specialist, so he’s a good player to have for later in the season.”
The Orioles must figure out what to do with outfielder Nolan Reimold, whose rehab assignment at Bowie ends this weekend. Reimold is out of minor league options and must be added to the 25-man roster or placed on waivers.
Reimold is 9-for-31 (.290) with three doubles, a home run, five RBIs, eight walks and seven strikeouts in 10 games with Bowie.
“He’s doing well. He’s playing pretty well,” Duquette said before shifting the topic to outfielder Francisco Peguero, who cleared waivers today and was outrighted to Norfolk.
“Did you see we got Peguero to Triple-A?” Duquette said. “So, that’s a good development for the organization because now we have a player at Triple-A who can help our ballclub and he can play all the outfield positions, he can hit, he’s got some power, he’s got a good arm and he can steal a base if you need it. We were happy about that, getting him through waivers and getting him to play at Triple-A.”
Reliever Edgmer Escalona has elected free agency in lieu of accepting his outright assignment to Norfolk. Escalona had been on the 60-day disabled list with a right shoulder impingement.