Austin Voth isn’t at Camden Yards today, but Orioles manager Brandon Hyde knows how he’s using the right-hander beginning this week.
Voth, claimed off waivers from the Nationals, is going to work in long relief – a role that’s subject to change, of course.
“I just know him from seeing him the last few years with the Nationals,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “It’s a guy that’s given innings out of the ‘pen in his career, spot started at times, been a starter. You’re always looking for starting pitching right now, and we’ll bring him here and see what he can do, and hopefully he can give us some length out of the bullpen to start off with.”
Voth’s arrival won’t change Keegan Akin’s duties as a multi-inning reliever. The Orioles don’t have any plans to put him back in the rotation.
“I still like to use him in the role that he has been in,” Hyde said. “That could, obviously, change with injuries or things that are going to happen in the last half of the year, more than half of the year, obviously, at this point. But I would prefer to keep him where he is right now just because he’s pitching so well in that role.
“I think adding another guy that can give you innings out of the bullpen is a real positive. Now, you have a left-handed and a right-handed long man. I think that’s extremely beneficial.”
Hyde could have used a pitcher like Voth on the days that Akin was unavailable.
“We’re going to need innings,” Hyde said. “Pitching is at a premium right now, and somebody that can give us major league innings out of the ‘pen or the rotation is going to be really key for us until the end of the year.”
Voth has a career 5.70 ERA and 1.453 WHIP over parts of five seasons amounting to 92 games and 181 2/3 innings. He’s made four appearances against the Orioles, including two starts, and allowed four runs in 14 innings.
Voth shut out the Orioles on one hit over five innings in an Aug. 8 start at Nationals Park. He also started against them on July 16, 2019 in Baltimore and allowed one run and four hits over six innings.
The Orioles designated Cody Sedlock for assignment. Their first-round pick in the 2016 draft made his only major league appearance on May 29 in Boston and was charged with five runs and six hits in three innings.
Spenser Watkins threw in the bullpen again and remains on the injured list. He was eligible to be activated today.
“We’re going to see how he feels post-bullpen. I haven’t talked to him yet,” Hyde said.
“We’re going to reassess here in the next day or two, see if maybe he needs another side or possibly face hitters. We’ll see.”
Watkins said his arm feels great and he’s ready whenever the Orioles decide to remove him from the IL. He’s just waiting.
Dean Kremer stays in the Orioles rotation and is starting in Kansas City this weekend.
Hyde is facing the Cubs for the first time since leaving their coaching staff in December 2018 to become Orioles manager. He’ll return to Wrigley Field later this summer.
Hyde remains close with Chicago manager David Ross and pitching coach Tommy Hottovy.
“I look forward to seeing a lot of friends over there, but the team’s way different than it was when I was there,” he said. “It’s going to be nice to see some familiar faces, but yeah, definitely a little strange to see the Cubs uniform.”
Jason Heyward is in right field tonight, and Hyde praised him as “the best defensive outfielder I’ve ever seen.”
“I talked to Fredi González, who had him in Atlanta, and he’s the best defensive outfielder he’s ever seen," Hyde said. "Just a guy who can completely shut down one side of the field and the outfield. He’s like Heyward Island. Just the amount of big plays he made for us, and just the leadership he brought.
“Ian Happ was a young player there my last couple years, and a really special talent and unbelievably athletic. I spent seven pretty magical years there and the last four were postseason years, so I have a lot of close ties, and a lot of family friends live there, too. So, a lot of family friends who are still in the organization, even though the organization’s changed quite a bit. I’m close with a lot of people who are still with the Cubs.”
Hyde said those years in Chicago still feel “pretty recent.”
“These last few years have kind of flown by a little bit. There’s been some long days, also,” he said.
“I have such great memories about my time there that I think it’s pretty fresh still.”
Hyde learned a few seconds before his media session that one of his best friends, Joe Maddon, was fired as Angels manager as the club's losing streak reached 12 games. Third base coach Phil Nevin, whose son, Tyler, is in the Orioles’ clubhouse, replaces Maddon on an interim basis.
“I’m very disappointed,” Hyde said. “I’m very close with Joe, so I need a little bit of time to kind of think about that one.”
For the Cubs
Christopher Morel CF
Willson Contreras C
Ian Happ LF
Frank Schwindel 1B
Patrick Wisdom 3B
Rafael Ortega DH
Nico Hoerner SS
Jason Heyward RF
Nick Madrigal 2B
Keegan Thompson RHP