BOSTON - The Orioles are preparing to make another adjustment to their roster in Detroit, where they begin a three-game series Tuesday night.
Unable to play today due to rain, the Orioles announced that they optioned right-hander David Hess to Triple-A Norfolk one day after recalling him. No word on the corresponding move.
Hess arrived in Boston yesterday while the Orioles optioned Donnie Hart to Norfolk. Hart wasn’t going to be available for a few days after pitching in back-to-back games and a Tigers lineup that’s light on left-handed hitters allowed the Orioles to keep Richard Bleier as their only southpaw in the bullpen.
Today’s postponement was anticipated in advance.
Hess’ major league debut will have to wait. He didn’t pitch in yesterday’s 3-1 loss to the Red Sox and goes back into the Tides rotation, where he made his Triple-A debut on April 8 and surrendered only one run with seven strikeouts in five innings.
The Orioles have extra arms in their bullpen with a three-man bench and Mike Wright Jr. and, apparently, Chris Tillman available in relief. Tillman isn’t listed among the probable starters for the Tigers series.
Today’s move could lead to the Orioles adding a position player. Their bench for yesterday’s game consisted of backup catcher Chance Sisco, infielder Engelb Vielma and designated hitter Pedro Álvarez.
Vielma’s experience in the majors consists of one inning at second base after he replaced Jonathan Schoop on Friday night at Fenway Park. Schoop went on the disabled list the next day with a strained right oblique.
Outfielders Austin Hays and Joey Rickard and catchers Austin Wynns and Andrew Susac are the only position players on the 40-man roster who remain in the minors. However, the Orioles have an open spot on the roster.
Injuries, short starts and some creativity while scouting the next opponent have led the Orioles to make transactions on nine days beginning April 7 and another one is pending. They’d like to have a settled 25-man roster, but circumstances keep intervening.
We’ll find out Tuesday whether Schoop’s loss and the ripple effects from it are tied to the next move.