Orioles left with unusual split in bullpen

Goodbye dateline, hello homestand.

The Orioles should make it through the day without a roster move unless manager Buck Showalter suddenly grows tired of having four southpaws in his seven-man bullpen, which I still envision to be an issue at some point.

Showalter had to use Ryan Webb and Darren O’Day last night. He doesn’t want to do it, but circumstances will force his hand. In honor of the NFL draft, we’ll refer to the duo as need picks in a 3-1 win.

The bullpen allowed only one run in 10 innings in the series, so no one is crying for Showalter at the moment.

The club needed a true long man - length in the bullpen, as Showalter calls it - and summoned left-hander T.J. McFarland from the minors. Right-hander Josh Stinson was supposed to handle that role, but he allowed nine runs and 16 hits and walked six batters in 11 1/3 innings over seven appearances.

Stinson cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk, where he’s given up an unearned run and two hits in 4 1/3 innings, with no walks and four strikeouts.

How long before he’s back in black (and orange)?

As Showalter has pointed out, leaning heavily to the left is fine as long as the relievers can defend themselves against right-handers, as well. That’s certainly been the case with Zach Britton, who’s held them to a .175 average in 40 at-bats.

I have a tendency to assume that many years have passed since the Orioles or a specific player were in a particular situation. Catcher Caleb Joseph made his major league debut a few months shy of his 28th birthday and I unexpectedly had to go all the way back to ... 2013 ... to find the last Oriole to do it so late in his career (UMBC product Zach Clark).

I couldn’t recall the last time that the Orioles carried four left-handers in their bullpen. OK, it happened last September with Brian Matusz, Troy Patton, T.J. McFarland and Mike Belfiore, but what about before rosters expanded?

You’d have to go all the way back to ... June 7, 2013 against the Rays ... with the same quartet.

It’s still rare.

As for tonight’s starter, also a lefty, Wei-Yin Chen as faced the Astros once in his career and allowed three runs and seven hits in 7 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out nine.

LJ Hoes is back in Baltimore. Dust off the old jokes, my friends. Dust ‘em off.

Down on the farm, Norfolk first baseman Brett Wallace is batting .348 (16-for-46) over his last 12 games, including two homers, 12 RBIs and eight runs. The Orioles signed the former first-round pick as a minor league free agent during spring training.

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