Leftovers for breakfast

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Orioles manager Brandon Hyde has confirmed that Alex Cobb is in line to start Friday night’s series opener against the Twins at Camden Yards, the veteran nearing a return from the injured list after throwing yesterday without discomfort in his back.

However, Hyde isn’t able to divulge plans for the corresponding move and how Cobb fits back into the rotation.

One scenario is to option reliever Josh Lucas to Triple-A Norfolk and move John Means to the bullpen again as a third left-hander, freeing space on the roster and rotation.

The fly in the ointment is Means’ 1.98 ERA in five games, only three earned runs allowed in 13 2/3 innings, and how he held the Red Sox to one run over five innings in Sunday’s start at Fenway Park.

Means-Throws-Gray-Sidebar.jpgA rebuilding club might want to take a longer look at Means in the rotation, but it’s getting too crowded with Cobb, Dylan Bundy, Andrew Cashner, David Hess and Dan Straily.

The Orioles will need to find spots in the bullpen for Nate Karns and Richard Bleier, but Cobb is the first task.

Meanwhile, a three-man bench was weakened further last night by Chris Davis’ stomach issue.

Hyde didn’t offer up a diagnosis. He just knew that Davis was sick.

“Some kind of stomach bug,” he said. “He’s not feeling good. That’s all I know. He’s not feeling well. He couldn’t go. In BP, he started feeling sick and nauseous and so he was scratched.”

Davis left the ballpark a few minutes after the final out.

If Davis isn’t available tonight, Hyde will be left with the backup catcher and one other reserve for his bench. He had Pedro Severino and Richie Martin last night, the latter most likely in tonight’s lineup.

* The Rays didn’t confirm their starter for tonight until the completion of last night’s game.

Going again with an opener, as they did with regularity in 2018, the Rays are handing the ball to Ryne Stanek with a plan in place to cover the majority of innings behind him.

Stanek has made three starts this season among his seven appearances. He’s allowed two runs and struck out 10 batters in 8 1/3 innings.

The right-hander hasn’t exceeded two innings or 32 pitches.

The Orioles saw Stanek seven times last season, three in April. He allowed six runs, walked five batters and stuck out 11 in 8 1/3 innings.

Trey Mancini is 2-for-6 with a home run against Stanek.

The Orioles are starting Hess tonight and Cashner on Thursday. The Rays haven’t listed a Thursday starter.

What’s the rush?

* Is it possible for a player to be thrown out twice trying to steal in the same inning?

Kevin Kiermaier provided the answer last night in the seventh inning.

Jesús Sucre was credited was a caught stealing after making a perfect throw to second base, but shortstop Jonathan Villar bobbled the ball as he applied the tag and his error allowed Kiermaier to advance.

Kiermaier then broke super-early for third base, figuring that he’d catch Mike Wright napping. Wright spun around and began running toward Kiermaier, who stumbled and made a late dash to the bag.

Rio Ruiz took the throw from Wright and tagged Kiermaier.

* Catcher Austin Wynns remains on an injury rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie. He went 2-for-5 with two RBIs last night against Erie and is 5-for-17 with two doubles and four RBIs in four games.

To clear up any confusion, this is a major league rehab assignment. The Orioles didn’t option Wynns, they put him on the injured list with a strained left oblique.

The assignment can last a maximum of 20 days before the Orioles must decide what to do with Wynns. He can stay on the IL if soreness returns to the oblique area. Otherwise, he can be activated and optioned or placed on the Orioles’ 25-man roster.

It’s complicated however they do it.

Triple-A Norfolk already is carrying Chance Sisco and Carlos Pérez. They don’t need a third catcher. The Orioles already have Sucre and Severino. They don’t need a third catcher.

They traded Andrew Susac to the Royals on April 2 rather than carry three catchers on the Tides’ roster and could attempt to do the same with Pérez. The only alternative is to designate Severino for assignment, since he’s out of minor league options, but they seem to like his work behind the plate.

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