CHICAGO – The Orioles have announced their series of roster moves leading into tonight’s game against the White Sox.
Left-hander Cole Irvin was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk following yesterday’s 8-7 walk-off win over the Athletics. Left-handed reliever Keegan Akin was placed on the paternity list.
A taxed bullpen is adding right-handers Spenser Watkins and Yennier Cano from the Tides.
Irvin hasn’t gone beyond 4 2/3 innings in his three starts since the Orioles acquired him from the Athletics in a January trade, and he’s allowed 15 runs and 17 hits with eight walks in 12 2/3 innings.
"I had a really good work week this week, so I felt really good coming in," Irvin said after his ERA yesterday rose to 10.66. "Small adjustments. I'm just shooting myself in the foot - walks, hit-by-pitches, bad pitches in bad locations that I know not to go to. It's small stuff that I really need to continue to clean up.
"I'm not happy with how these first three have gone, and I'm glad the team got the win and I'm glad we're going to have a happy flight to Chicago, and there's going to be a lot of work for me going into this next start, and prepared to make some solid adjustments."
Irvin also expressed confidence that his season would turn around, but it’s been diverted to Norfolk.
"Someone who prides himself on getting (deep) into ballgames, I haven't been able to do that yet,” he said. “I'm not very happy with letting some teammates down and just need to get better. Keep my head down and keep working, because I know I've had a good, solid week of work, so can't really say I wasn't ready for this start.
"If we're talking about these first three starts, I wonder how the next 27-plus are going to go. And that's my objective, to make all 30. I'm trying to do my best to put my best foot forward, and that's what I'm going to continue to do. That's all I can do. Give our team the best opportunity to win ballgames every day. Just need to do my job better. That's all it is."
The failure of the rotation to provide length likely led to the Orioles making these moves. Watkins gives them a rested long reliever, with Austin Voth unavailable after going two innings yesterday.
Orioles relievers have combined for the third-highest innings total in the majors at 54 1/3.
Tyler Wells makes his second start and third appearance tonight in the series-opener in Chicago. He tossed five scoreless and hitless innings against the Rangers after Kyle Bradish left the game with an injury, and he allowed four runs in six innings in his start against the Yankees.
Wells hasn’t walked a batter over 11 innings.
The White Sox have faced Wells only once, back in 2021 when he worked as a Rule 5 reliever. He allowed two earned runs and three total with one hit and four strikeouts over two innings, and he took the loss in a 10-inning game at Camden Yards that Watkins started.
Paul Fry, Cole Sulser and Tanner Scott also pitched that night, and they’re no longer in the organization. Dillon Tate, who got the final out, is on the 15-day injured list.
Mike Clevinger, in his first season with the White Sox, has won both of his starts while allowing four runs and 11 hits with five walks and nine strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings. His debut on April 2 resulted in five scoreless innings with eight strikeouts in Houston.
Tonight marks his first home appearance.
Clevinger is 4-1 with a 3.69 ERA and 1.358 WHIP in six career starts against the Orioles. He tossed a complete-game shutout, with two hits allowed, back in 2018 with Cleveland, but surrendered seven runs in 1 2/3 innings in a June 2019 start in Baltimore.
The Orioles went 0-7 against the White Sox in 2021 and 5-2 last season. Cedric Mullins is a career .368 (25-for-68) hitter against them and has an 11-game hitting streak that represents his second-longest against any opponent, according to STATS, behind his 12-game streak versus the Twins.