Leftovers for breakfast

The creative maneuvering that Orioles manager Brandon Hyde must execute to provide rest to players, sometimes on a rotating basis, also could be necessary late in games with personnel on the field.

Last night’s lineup left the bench without a true utility player. Tyler Nevin plays the corner infield and outfield positions. Ryan McKenna plays all three outfield spots. Robinson Chirinos is the catching alternative to Adley Rutschman.

Chris Owings didn’t hit and he was an easy target for fans on social media, which didn’t go unnoticed by some members of the organization. But he could back up everywhere on the field.

If Hyde needs to replace shortstop Jorge Mateo, he can move Ramón Urías off third base and insert Nevin. Urías is the shortstop if Mateo is rested.

Pretty simple as long as Mateo and Urías don’t slip into day-to-day status with an injury, which they’ve done this season. If that happens, the bench is going to expand again with a phone call to Triple-A Norfolk.

Owings could be traded or claimed on waivers. He has the right to refuse an option or outright assignment to Triple-A.

Would the Orioles try to keep him in the organization with a Norfolk roster that just added infield prospects Jordan Westburg, Gunnar Henderson and Terrin Vavra, the latter returning from an injury rehab assignment? The Tides also have Richie Martin, Rylan Bannon, Patrick Dorrian, Cadyn Grenier and Shed Long Jr.

It's a bit crowded.

Martin would appear to be the first choice if the Orioles need to go the utility route again. The 40-man roster is down to 39 players, he has major league experience, he can handle the middle infield and play some outfield - he was in center last night - and he was batting .296/.389/.441 with 13 doubles, three triples and a home run in 38 games.

* Nick Vespi had a brief stay with the Orioles during his first stint, making his major league debut on May 20 with two scoreless innings and returning to Norfolk the following day.

Maybe he can stick around for a longer period this time. He’s certainly earned it, as Hyde acknowledged yesterday.

Circumstances just don’t always allow it. They don’t always reward the deserving.

Vespi still hasn’t permitted an earned run this season between his 18 1/3 innings with the Tides and 4 1/3 with the Orioles.

“Amazing,” Hyde said.

There’s more.

Vespi has allowed a combined nine hits, walked five batters and struck out 30.

“When we sent him out last time, that was a move we didn’t want to make,” Hyde said. “We had a dire need and he has options, and when you’re a bullpen pitcher with options, sometimes you’re the guy. But he’s pitching great, and hats off to him for what he’s doing in Triple-A. That’s hard to do in any level, and he’s doing it in the upper levels – Triple-A, and now he’s coming up here.”

Vespi retired all four Cleveland batters he faced on Sunday upon his return, and he tossed a scoreless eighth inning on 10 pitches Tuesday night against the Cubs.

“Continue to give him a good look,” Hyde said, “and hopefully we can keep him.”

* Cedric Mullins hit his 12th career leadoff home run Tuesday night to rank fifth in Orioles history.

Of course, my mind immediately goes to wondering who’s ahead of him and by how much.

Brady Anderson is the obvious leader with 44 between 1992-2001. It isn’t even close.

I’ll assume that most long-time Orioles fans who hear “leadoff hitter” think of Al Bumbry, Don Buford and Brian Roberts. A franchise history lesson is needed if the first two names are unfamiliar.

According to STATS, those three players are tied for second with 13. Buford did his work from 1968-1972, when the Orioles went to three straight World Series. Bumbry played from 1973-84 and owns a ring from the ’83 championship, the last won by the Orioles.

Roberts lost a lot of games between 2004-13. Fourteen consecutive seasons below .500 until the 2012 wild card season, when he appeared in only 17 games.

Wall ball: The homers are becoming more plentiful ...
Orioles' game vs. Cubs postponed due to rain

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.masnsports.com/