“The only thing that would keep it from happening is a long extra-inning game,” said manager Buck Showalter.
The Orioles need a starter for Wednesday and Norris is a candidate if his simulated game produces the desired results. Norris is eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday.
Miguel Gonzalez was listed as Wednesday’s starter against the Nationals at Camden Yards, but he’s no longer a candidate due to today’s doubleheader. He could be pushed back to Thursday, which currently is Ubaldo Jimenez’s spot.
Norris did pitchers fielding drills two days ago and will throw two or three innings today. “And hopefully things go well,” Showalter said.
Asked whether playing yesterday on limited rest or having a doubleheader today is the greater disadvantage, Showalter replied, “They’re both a challenge. We can’t bring up a player except for the second game of the doubleheader. The advantage would be to be able to bring a position player and a pitcher and then pick after Game 1 which one you need, but that’s not legal, either, I was told. Because I tried.”
The Orioles can add third baseman Manny Machado and reliever Preston Guilmet for Game 2.
“You play with 24 one game and 26 the next,” Showalter said. “I don’t think I’ve ever done that. Then back to 25.”
Kevin Gausman, starting Sunday, will join the team for Game 2. He wasn’t allowed to be in the dugout for the opener per Major League Baseball rules.
“We had to set up his flight where it got here between games of the doubleheader,” Showalter said.
The Orioles are undefeated during Machado’s suspension, and teammates have been reminding him daily.
“There’s some real fun going on in the clubhouse today,” Showalter said. “There’s kind of a lot of heat on him if we win the first game.”
Showalter and pitching coach Dave Wallace already are discussing their rotation beyond the All-Star break.
“We could conceivably send somebody out and get another relief pitcher during the rest of the time during the All-Star break,” Showalter said. “We’ve done it in the past. We’ll see.”
Showalter hadn’t read the reports on Dylan Bundy, who allowed three runs and four hits in 4 2/3 innings last night for Single-A Frederick.
“I think I told you all it’s a process,” Showalter said. “He’s right where he needs to be in the process. Carolina League’s a big jump from Aberdeen and we felt like it might slow down a little bit there, which is good.
“Whether he’s good enough to be one of our options to pitch up here this year ... When you do these (Tommy John) surgeries, you hope they impact the organization the following year at some point, but the history shows you it’s the following year usually. But we’ll see. Dylan’s kind of been a little different at every turn anyway.”