Yennier Cano received two days off after working two innings Thursday afternoon in Kansas City. He wasn’t available last night after retiring all six batters he faced Sunday in Atlanta.
The temptation to use him anyway must be strong, simply because he’s become one of the top relievers in baseball.
Just how good?
The examples are numerous and widely publicized. Here is another, according to STATS:
Cano has faced 49 batters and allowed two hits, walked none and nailed one batter, for a .103 opponents’ OPS, second lowest through 12 appearances since 2014.
Former Orioles reliever Richard Rodríguez registered a .078 OPS in 2021.
The 49 batters faced to begin a season without allowing an extra-base hit or walking a batter is the longest streak for an Orioles pitcher since rookie Storm Davis with 56 in 1982.
Davis appeared in 29 games, made eight starts and finished nine. His last outing was a complete-game, 7-1 victory over the Brewers in Game 2 of a doubleheader at Memorial Stadium.
When every game had to be won to keep those playoff hopes alive.
Manager Brandon Hyde won’t use Cano in the same way.
* The inherited runner that scored last night off Bryan Baker left starter Kyle Gibson with two earned runs and kept him from tying another obscure club record.
Gibson had worked at least six innings and allowed one run in his first two home starts as an Oriole to tie him with Jason Hammel in 2012, Rick Sutcliffe in 1992 and Dave Johnson in 1989 for second on the list.
Joe Coleman began the 1954 season, the first since the franchise arrived from St. Louis, with three such starts.
* Lots of the starter attention at Triple-A Norfolk falls upon prospect DL Hall and Cole Irvin, who was acquired in a trade with the Athletics and lasted only three games before the Orioles optioned him. But don’t sleep on Bruce Zimmermann.
For one, it sounds uncomfortable. And two, the Baltimore native is doing well.
Zimmermann has allowed three earned runs or fewer in five of his six starts, and two or less in his first four. He had back-to-back one-run games over six innings, with only two hits allowed April 26 in Charlotte.
Zimmermann struck out nine Durham Bulls in six innings Sunday afternoon. The Loyola Blakefield graduate has a 3.58 ERA with only two home runs surrendered in 32 2/3 innings, and he’s averaging 9.9 strikeouts per nine. He’s also walked 14 batters, which is the only real mark against him.
Manager Buck Britton has a stacked lineup, but his rotation shouldn’t be ignored.
Lefty Drew Rom, who started the first exhibition game, is 4-1 with a 2.87 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in six games. He’s surrendered only two home runs in 31 1/3 innings and is averaging 2.9 walks and 9.2 strikeouts.
Rom, 23, made a combined 26 appearances between Double-A Bowie and Norfolk last year and posted a 4.43 ERA and 1.475 WHIP with 144 strikeouts in 120 innings.
* Watching Dean Kremer throw his bullpen session yesterday, preparing for his Wednesday night start against the Rays, made me wonder how outfielder Yusniel Díaz was doing after returning to the Dodgers organization.
Kremer and Díaz were among the five players acquired in July 2018 for Manny Machado. Diáz received one at-bat with the Orioles, striking out in an Aug. 2 game in Texas after the Trey Mancini trade, was designated for assignment in November and signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers on Feb. 3.
The reunion has been a flop.
Díaz was assigned to Double-A Tulsa out of spring training, went 3-for-7 with a home run in three games, and landed on the seven-day injured list on April 12.
The body keeps breaking down.
Díaz sustained an injury while sliding into second base as a pinch-runner, according to a non-exhaustive Google search. He hasn’t returned from it.
* Longtime Orioles minor league coach and major league advance scout Deacon Jones passed away Sunday at age 89.
Jones joined the organization as a minor league hitting coach for the 1989 season after receiving a call from general manager Roland Hemond. He switched roles after four seasons and became a valued member of the scouting department until leaving after the 2007 season.
Jones was working as special assistant with the Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys in the Astros organization.
A true gentleman, a sweet man and a friend to many. He'll be missed.