Orioles reliever Austin Voth is a possibility to start Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Guardians at Camden Yards.
Voth will be unavailable for a few days after throwing 62 pitches last night in 3 2/3 innings. He saved the bullpen in a 12-2 loss but can’t be used for a while.
“Fortunately for us last night, Austin Voth was a savior for us,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “If I have to go through a couple more guys there, puts us in a terrible spot in a series here against a really good club, and then Cleveland. You want to minimize those types of starts just for the other guys, as well.
“Austin Voth really picked us up last night and saved me from having to use two other guys that we wouldn’t want to use, to then, hopefully be fresh as we can for these next two games.”
Asked about Voth pitching Wednesday, Hyde said, “Voth’s an option, yeah.”
“We’re discussing all options,” Hyde said, “but Voth going 3 2/3 last night, that was helpful, and him being in the rotation last year and doing a really nice job for us was definitely something we’ll consider.”
Another option is Baltimore native Bruce Zimmermann, who would be on normal rest after starting last night with Triple-A Norfolk and tossing six scoreless innings.
The Orioles sent down rookie Grayson Rodriguez after last night’s game. The right-hander allowed eight earned runs and nine total in 3 1/3 innings to raise his ERA to 7.35 with a 1.721 WHIP in 10 starts.
“Just kind of want to give him a little bit of a reset,” Hyde said.
“He’s had some real positive moments for us this season, had a few struggle starts. I think it was a great experience, honestly. I think it’s more normal than not to have a guy come up here and kind of go through a little bit of adversity, go back down and know and understand what he needs to work on to get back up here. Know that he can have success up here.
“I think he’s going to be a really, really good starting pitcher in this league. It’s just a little bit of, go back down and work on some things, and hopefully come back up here soon.”
Fastball command is No. 1 among the priorities.
“No. 1 for any starting pitcher,” Hyde said.
“Grayson’s got huge stuff and he throws really hard and flashes good secondary, but it’s tough to pitch in this league if you don’t have really good fastball command as a starter and to be able to go through lineups a few times and to be able to go deeper into games. To be able to throw a fastball where you need it, where you want it. Every starting pitcher, that’s key. He has shown signs of doing it, but we think he could get a little bit more consistent, so that’s one of the things he’s going to work on down there.”
Rodriguez was effective in five starts and vulnerable in five, some results much worse than others.
“I think it’s a very normal part of the young player process,” Hyde said. “Not everybody comes up here and sets the world on fire. That’s abnormal. The right thing to do is for him to have this opportunity, which he did. He had some good moments, some not-so-good moments, but his last start in Toronto was really good. For me, that was a real competitive start in a tough environment. So, we know he can do it. Now, for me, it’s being more consistent with it.”
Hyde doesn’t think Rodriguez’s lat strain that cost him three months last summer is impacting 2023.
“When a guy has that sort of stuff, I think it’s easier to go through the minor leagues and just out-stuff people, and this level is just so much different that you have to be able to command your fastball,” Hyde said. “You have to be able to throw your off-speed in fastball counts. You’ve got to be able to work to both sides of the plate. You’ve got to be able to put a guy away with two strikes. You’ve got to be able to go deep in the game. And those are all things that all starting pitchers have to do, and the good ones do it consistently for a long time and get paid a lot of money because of it.
“He’s going to be that type of guy. Just right now we feel like the right thing to do for him is to go work on those things and come back up here ready to help.”
Factoring into the decision is how the Orioles are committed to a playoff run rather than being stuck in rebuild mode.
“I think anytime you’re trying to win, philosophy changes a little bit,” Hyde said. “We’ve had too many starts with 3 1/3 and what that does is it really taxes your bullpen.”
Hyde offered thoughts and prayers for David Hess and his family. The former Orioles pitcher is battling an aggressive form of cancer and set to undergo another surgery on Tuesday.
“I got shown the Instagram post yesterday afternoon and stomach dropped, heart sank,” Hyde said. “David Hess is a wonderful, wonderful man, and a great family man. I know a lot of our guys in our clubhouse are still extremely close to him. He was a great teammate to the guys who were here when he was here. We’re thinking a lot about him.”
For the Rangers
Marcus Semien 2B
Corey Seager SS
Nathaniel Lowe 1B
Adolis García RF
Josh Jung 3B
Jonah Heim C
Josh H. Smith LF
Robbie Grossman DH
Leody Taveras CF
Andrew Heaney LHP