The Orioles are making changes to their rotation and bullpen following their walk-off win this afternoon against the Athletics.
According to multiple sources, left-hander Cole Irvin has been optioned to Triple-A Norfolk after starting today and lasting only four innings. Left-handed reliever Keegan Akin is going on paternity leave.
In corresponding moves, the Orioles are recalling pitchers Spenser Watkins and Yennier Canó.
Irvin came to the Orioles in a Jan. 26 trade that sent minor league shortstop prospect Darell Hernaiz to the Athletics. He’s made three starts and allowed 15 runs and 17 hits with eight walks and 13 strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings.
None of the three starts have lasted more than 4 2/3 innings. Only Kyle Gibson (twice) and Tyler Wells have recorded an out in the sixth inning this season.
Irvin has one minor league option remaining.
Kyle Bradish is making an injury rehab start Friday night at Double-A Bowie and is eligible to be activated from the 15-day injury list next Wednesday, with the club in D.C. to play the Nationals. The Orioles have off-days surrounding the two-game series.
Bradish’s return threatened to leave the Orioles with six starters for their rotation, including rookie Grayson Rodriguez, who makes his third major league appearance Sunday afternoon in Chicago.
Akin warmed again today but didn’t pitch. He’s appeared in six games and allowed four runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Watkins was a spring training cut after appearing in 23 games last season, including 20 starts, and posting a 4.70 ERA and 1.415 WHIP in 105 1/3 innings. He’s started twice for Norfolk this month and allowed three earned runs in 10 innings.
In Saturday’s start against Gwinnett, Watkins worked five innings and allowed only an unearned run.
Canó made three relief appearances for the Orioles last summer and allowed nine runs in 4 1/3 innings. He’s tossed three scoreless innings in three games with Norfolk.
Canó came to the Orioles from the Twins last August in the Jorge López deadline trade.
The Orioles need fresh arms for the bullpen. Bryan Baker and Logan Gillaspie are tied for the club lead with seven appearances in 13 games. Baker had a scoreless inning today and Gillaspie warmed in the ninth inning.
Akin, Félix Bautista, Danny Coulombe and Cionel Pérez each have six appearances, and Mike Baumann and Austin Voth are next with five. Voth has surrendered a home run in each game he's pitched, including today’s 8-7 win.
Orioles relievers have combined for the third-highest innings total in the majors at 54 1/3.
The club hasn’t announced the roster moves. Option restrictions are finally lifting, with pitchers able to be recalled after the 15-day period.