The Orioles are listing three of their four starters for the upcoming series in Chicago. Saturday afternoon remains wide open and is largely dependent on how manager Brandon Hyde uses his bullpen.
Austin Voth could get the ball again after starting Sunday against the Rays as a last-minute replacement for Jordan Lyles, who was scratched due to a stomach virus. Voth threw 41 pitches in 2 2/3 scoreless innings and could be stretched out for a longer outing.
“Voth made that spot start for us the other day and did a great job,” Hyde said today. “He is a possibility, but I might use him Thursday or Friday, also, and then he’s not a possibility. We’re going to kind of wait until last minute on this one and go from there.”
Spenser Watkins is starting tonight for Triple-A Norfolk but is expected to be removed early, keeping him as an option for Saturday. Denyi Reyes is the third possibility.
Watkins may go only one inning tonight.
“As the week goes along, we’re going to kind of evaluate where our bullpen is,” Hyde said.
Dean Kremer starts Thursday’s night’s series opener against the White Sox. Kyle Bradish starts Friday night and Jordan Lyles closes out the series Sunday afternoon.
The White Sox counter with right-handers Johnny Cueto, Michael Kopech, Lance Lynn and Dylan Cease.
Tyler Wells has registered quality starts in three of his last four outings, but it probably won’t happen tonight, no matter how he’s pitching. He’s going to be shortened tonight to control his innings for the season.
Bruce Zimmermann isn’t listed among Norfolk’s upcoming starters, but he’ll get bulk innings out of the bullpen. He could follow Watkins tonight.
“He’s still going to be starter length,” Hyde said.
Cody Sedlock starts Thursday, with Mike Baumann going Friday, Chris Vallimont Saturday and DL Hall Sunday.
Cedric Mullins is on the bench again tonight, mainly because the Nationals are starting left-hander Patrick Corbin. Mullins is hitting .235/.297/.324 against lefties this year.
Using Adley Rutschman as the designated hitter forces Hyde to make a bench decision among Mullins, Ryan Mountcastle, Trey Mancini, Austin Hays and Anthony Santander. He doesn’t want to exclude a right-handed hitter against Corbin.
“We’ve got a string of right-handers we’re facing here coming up,” Hyde said. “Just going to be rotating guys around a little bit. Against Corbin, to get the righties in there. There really aren’t any right-handers I want to sit. I don’t want to sit Cedric, either. … Somebody has to have a night off.
“I feel like whenever I give Cedric a day off, he’s in the game in the fifth, so he never really gets one anyway.”
Infielder Ramón Urías, on the injured list with a strained oblique muscle, began baseball activities today with some light swings.
“Get him moving around outside a little bit,” Hyde said.
Left-hander Zac Lowther cleared outright waivers and was assigned to Norfolk. Pitcher Kevin Smith and infielder Jahmai Jones also cleared earlier this year.
Rutschman is growing a mustache, which met with Hyde’s approval.
“I think mustaches are really coming back,” Hyde said. “It kind of reminds me of my dad in 1982. I think if you look around, you see a lot more mustaches, and I think it’s a trend with the young guys. Maybe even the older guys. So, if it makes him feel good, I’m all for it. Whatever makes him feel good.
“You look good, you play good.”