They needed two fresh arms today and Jackson and Stefan Crichton had worked on back-to-back nights. They didn’t get results or another chance.
Jackson was designated for assignment today after allowing seven runs (four earned) and 11 hits in five innings since the Orioles purchased his contract. Crichton was optioned after allowing five runs in 3 1/3 innings this weekend.
“It’s tough,” said manager Buck Showalter, whose club has lost five of its last seven games. “We didn’t want to do it, obviously, but kind of got through last night. I was really trying to stay away from a long outing with Mike (Wright), so we didn’t have to send him out. It’s the nature of the beast. The nature of having short starts, so Edwin will see if he’ll clear by Tuesday and I think there’s a chance he’ll rejoin.
“It’s tough with him, pretty whirlwind. That’s the way it is. He gets on a plane, he gets here and he’s pitching. He’s better than that. It’s just he never got his feet on the ground.
“Crichton broke out a third pitch he, Roger (McDowell) and Griff (Mike Griffin) have been working on. He threw some quality cutter/slider hybrid. That’s good. He’ll take that with him, go down there, continue to pitch well at that level.”
Jackson wasn’t looking for sympathy at his locker this morning, joking at one point that this wasn’t his “first rodeo.” The Orioles were his 12th major league team.
“It definitely could have been better, you know?” he said. “Some situations where you go out there, but at the end of the day you’ve got to be ready to go. The objective of the game is to go out and put up zeroes and I didn’t do that. And there are situations that happen, especially when you need pitching. You’ve got to have guys in the bullpen that are able to throw.
“It’s just one of those things. There’s nothing that’s going to break any confidence or anything like that. I continue to work. I know what I can do and it’s not going to stop me from doing what I think I’m capable of doing or anything like that. It’s just one of those situations where I certainly wasn’t getting outs and you end up getting the short end of the straw.”
Jackson was on a roll with Norfolk, but he stumbled badly after the Orioles selected his contract.
“It was just getting a feel for everything,” he said. “Definitely it’s a different game. And at the end of the day, it’s about executing pitches. I was executing pitches down there and up here you don’t necessarily get away with the mistakes that you do in Triple-A. But it was all about going out and executing pitches.”
Jackson didn’t use the lack of spring training as an excuse.
“I wouldn’t say that,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s about execution. It could have easily been the other way around and it would have been another story right now. I’m not one to make excuses about if I was ready or I wasn’t ready. At the end of the day, the objective is to get outs, whether you’re ready or not. “
The Orioles will see whether Jackson clears waivers and accepts an outright assignment.
“We really didn’t get into it too much, that kind of discussion,” Jackson said. “Everybody knows the options that loom and I’m grateful for the opportunity. I’m not sure what’s going to happen. Nobody’s sure what’s going to happen right now. We’ll see what happens in the next 48 hours and go from there.”
The Jackson experiment ended or was put on hold after only three appearances. The Orioles simply didn’t have the luxury of sticking it out with him.
“We needed two (arms), and that’s self-inflicted, but of course, the Yankees had something to do with it, too,” Showalter said. “We made a lot of mistakes and these are some of the prices you pay. I don’t think we’ve sent anybody out this year that’s been pitching well.”
Asked whether it was tough to cut Jackson based on his veteran status, Showalter replied, “Yes and no.”
“It was probably easier ... Both of them are tough,” he said. “He’s been down this road, but it’s also why he’s continued to get opportunities. I’d be surprised if he didn’t get another one here. He was pitching the best of those guys down there when we called him up.”
If that’s the case, Jimmy Yacabonis would have been a close second. He registered a 0.90 ERA with Norfolk in 23 games.
The Orioles selected Yacabonis, 21, in the 13th round of the 2013 draft out of St. Joseph’s University and they considered protecting him in last winter’s Rule 5 draft.
“You’d like to have him stay down a little longer, but he’s pitching well,” Showalter said. “Would at some point this year probably have been added. You look at the numbers and you have a good idea of the picture painted and he’ll let it rip.
“There’ll be some anxiety and stuff, but he was a guy with three or four days off and our best option.”
Norfolk manager Ron Johnson gave Yacabonis the news last night.
“I felt pretty good,” Yacabonis said. “Last night I got a call from R.J. and it’s pretty cool.”
Yacabonis said he wasn’t wondering why the Orioles kept bypassing him while revving up the shuttle.
“No, not necessarily. It’s all a learning curve. Just working on getting better every day,” he said.
“You always want to stay optimistic. Always want to be positive, so yeah, that was good to see.”
The key to Yacabonis’ success this year?
“Really trying to force early contact and just limited the pitch count,” he said.
Yacabonis already made a favorable impression on the Orioles with an invitation to their minicamp and numerous trips over to major league camp in spring training. He became a regular on the travel roster or extras sheet, striking out six batters and holding opponents to a .222 average in 4 2/3 innings in his six appearances.
Logan Verrett posted an 8.10 ERA in nine games in spring training and opponents hit .407 in 13 1/3 innings. However, he gone 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA in three relief appearances with the Orioles.
The Orioles summoned Verrett for the first time on a Sunday at Yankee Stadium and he worked the 10th and 11th innings on April 30 to earn the win. He was optioned the next day.
“It’s been interesting, but it keeps us on our toes,” he said. “We all were pretty aware of the situation, what’s going on, and our role on the team right now. It’s just our job. And anytime we’re called on and we’ve got to make that trip up here, we’re here to help the team anyway we can. Whatever Buck needs.”
And that includes another Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
“The weather’s a little nicer this go-around,” he said. “Hopefully, we won’t be going to extras, either. But I thought about that. The flight in today was very similar, so it’s familiar territory.”
So is boarding the shuttle, no matter what results are produced. Throw too many pitches and it’s back to Triple-A.
“We’re all pretty aware of the situation,” Verrett said. “We know if we get extended out, there’s a decent chance of us being shipped out the next day. It’s just the nature of the beast right now.
“It’s unfortunate. Everybody wants to stay. Obviously, you want to be here and be part of the team and help the team win and get on that winning track again. So, I’m not going to lie, it’s frustrating at times, but you understand what your role is. When you get down to Norfolk, you’ve just got to get right back at it, get your work in and be ready for whenever they make that call the next time.”
Perhaps the need for stability in the bullpen will work in Verrett’s favor as long as he’s productive. Showalter has stated recently that he doesn’t want to punish anyone who’s pitching well by optioning them.
“You try to just kind of go day-by-day in this sport,” Verrett said. “It’s hard not to look at stuff like that, but I think (Richard) Bleier’s done a great job since he’s been here. He’s really established himself as a dominant figure in the bullpen. Mike (Wright) has done a great job. And you see them being rewarded by being able to stay up, so it’s positive for us coming up, just knowing that if we get into a game and do our job the way we’re supposed to do it, we’re more than likely to stick around.
“There’s always that chance you throw too many pitches and you’ve got to get a fresh arm in the bullpen, but it is what it is. We’re here to do a job and that job is to do whatever the manager needs us to do.”
The manager needs the starters to get deeper into games. Otherwise, Verrett could be used early as one of the long men in the bullpen.
“Logan, he’s had some time off,” Showalter said. “It’s one thing to say this guy’s available to pitch length. The other team’s got to cooperate. Somebody that’s capable of throwing 60 pitches, the other team after 30 pitches scores four runs, he ain’t pitching length. Length in the American League is two innings.”
The Orioles are trying to get third baseman Manny Machado back in the lineup and it could happen Monday night in Chicago.
“I hope so, but we’ll see,” Showalter said. “It’s a quick turnaround from yesterday to today. I’ve never found a whole lot of improvement from night games to day games.
“He’s going to attempt to throw and hit a little bit. That’s a good sign. If that goes well, there’s that potential. Who knows? I might use him to pinch-hit.”
Update: The Orioles fell into another big hole today in the first inning, with Kevin Gausman allowing five runs.
The Yankees collected five hits, including Gary Sánchez’s three-run homer. Starlin Castro had a two-run single before Sanchez stepped to the plate.
Left-hander Chasen Streve replaced starter Chad Green after Tejada’s double.
Update III: Matt Holliday ended Gausman’s day with a two-run single in the fourth inning that gave New York a 7-3 lead.
Gausman allowed seven runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings, with six walks that tied his career high and no strikeouts. He also threw two wild pitches.
Update IV: Aaron Judge hit a 495-foot home run off Logan Verrett in the sixth and Starlin Castro added a two-run shot later in the inning to give the Yankees a 10-3 lead.
Update V: Yacabonis made his major league debut in the seventh and allowed a two-run double to Aaron Hicks and Judge’s two-run homer. Judge has 21 home runs this season, eight of them against the Orioles, who trail 14-3.