NORFOLK, Va - Buck Showalter just informed reporters of his season opening rotation and final roster move.
The Orioles starters will be in order: Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter, Jason Hammel, Brian Matusz and Wei-Yin Chen.
Zach Phillips has now officially been optioned to Triple-A, so Troy Patton and Darren O’Day get the final two roster spots.
The Orioles also put lefty Tsuyoshi Wada officially on the DL retroactive to March 28, with a left elbow impingement. Catcher Taylor Teagarden was also placed on the disabled list, retroactive to March 26, with a strained back.
The club has selected the contracts of catcher Ronny Paulino and Nick Johnson who make the roster and get added today to the 40-man roster. The Orioles now have full 25-man and 40-man rosters.
Showalter said Matusz earned the spot.
“He’s been good just about every time out,” Showalter said. “We felt like Brian would get some return for the things he was exposed to last year for the first time in his career. We feel strongly about him fighting back. Now, there is another challenge ahead of him. He’s done everything possible a guy could do to make our club.
“We want to give Chen as much time. It will be his first in a five-man rotation. Want to pick our spots with him.”
Showalter was asked if he set up the rotation this way to throw two lefties against the Yankees and he said that was not the case.
“This just stacked up best for everybody’s needs,” Showalter said.
As for Phillips going to Triple-A, he said, “That’s tough. He pitched well enough to make our club, it just didn’t fit right now. He’ll impact our club this year. We’re sending some good pitchers down to Norfolk. It will be fun watching those guys pitch. We all get caught up about today, but we are excited about the players in Norfolk this year.”
Showalter talked about O’Day and Patton making the team.
“That is the way we are going to start out. The adjustments we make, we’ll feel good about making them with some of the talent we have down below,” Showalter said.
As for this game, the Tides beat the Orioles 6-4 by scoring three runs in the fifth, one in the seventh and two in the eighth. Chris Petrini took the loss and Jason Berken gave up three runs in one inning after Matusz pitched four scoreless at the start. Showalter took him out after that because a steady rain was beginning to fall.
Manny Machado had a two-run double for the Orioles while Steve Tolleson and Josh Barfield had 2 RBIs each for the Tides.