Cole Irvin is in Baltimore to serve as a long reliever. Nothing else to it.
The Orioles don’t have immediate plans to reinsert Irvin into the rotation, but manager Brandon Hyde said, “He’s going to start for us down the road at some point for sure, I just don’t know when that’s going to be.”
“We see him as a starter,” Hyde added, “but right now we needed some length out of our bullpen and he was fully rested. We wanted to bring him back up here at some point anyway.”
Irvin gives the Orioles a long man with Austin Voth unavailable after pitching in back-to-back games. Mike Baumann has done the same and also is down.
“Where the game ended last night, we had to cover quite a few innings out of our bullpen, and we just wanted to bring up somebody that gives us a length option out of the ‘pen,” Hyde said.
“Cole’s been throwing the ball great down in Norfolk, and so we’re excited to have him back.”
Irvin is on normal rest if used tonight, and he’s been getting outs and limiting the walks with Triple-A Norfolk. He averaged 5.7 walks per nine innings in three starts with the Orioles but issued only four in 31 innings with the Tides.
“I just think the command wasn’t quite there at the beginning of the season,” Hyde said. “He said he feels a lot better right now, and commanding his fastball well. He had a great start his last time out. I just think the improvement of his command has been helpful.”
Irvin said he benefitted from his stint with Norfolk. Disappointing news at first that seemed to get him on track, at least statistically.
“I’m doing what I know how to do best, which is throw sinkers down at the bottom of the zone and changeups,” he said. “Got back to some good pitch mixes and got back to good locations, so here to do a job. I’ll be prepared to do it.”
Orioles relievers have logged 156 innings to rank 10th in the majors. Baumann has thrown 22 innings, Voth 21, Bryan Baker 20, Yennier Cano 19 2/3 and Félix Bautista 19.
Baker’s 20 appearances are tied for fifth in the majors.
Hyde said he isn’t concerned about the level of usage through 41 games.
“Not right now I’m not,” he said. “I think our guys are pretty rested right now, to be honest. … I didn’t use (Cionel) Pérez, Cano, Bautista. Voth and Baumann are obviously pretty tired after going back-to-back. Voth wasn’t used to that, and Baumann went two innings (Sunday) and then another inning last night out of necessity. But I think we’ve done a pretty good job managing that.”
An optioned pitcher must stay down a minimum of 15 days unless he’s replacing an injured player, which can factor into the Triple-A movement. Logan Gillaspie is the latest example after the Orioles sent him down following last night’s game.
“That’s something you always consider for sure,” Hyde said. “Whenever you make a roster move, there’s always a plan in place because of the amount of times you can option or bring somebody back, the amount of time it’s going to take from a restriction standpoint of days. So, you consider all those things when you make a move.”
Ryan Mountcastle is out of the lineup but he’s fine physically.
“I’m just giving him a little bit of a rest,” Hyde said. “DH yesterday, rest today, I’m sure he’ll be in the game at some point today.”
Anthony Santander is playing first base again after making his first major league appearance at the position last night.
“He felt good,” Hyde said. “He wasn’t used to nine innings of being in an infielder’s defensive stance. I thought it was going to rest his legs. Maybe it didn’t. I talked to him about it late in the game. But I think it’s great for us, great for him, to have that flexibility of him being able to play it. He didn’t have a whole lot of action, but I wanted to give Mounty another day today, so he’s back in there.”
Relievers Mychal Givens and Dillon Tate are scheduled to pitch tonight at Norfolk.
Infielder TT Bowens has moved up from High-A Aberdeen to Double-A Bowie, switching places with infielder Jacob Teter.
For the Angels
Mickey Moniak RF
Mike Trout CF
Shohei Ohtani DH
Taylor Ward LF
Matt Thaiss C
Brandon Drury 1B
Gio Urshela 3B
Luis Rengifo 2B
Zach Neto SS
Chase Silseth RHP