The Orioles will make a roster move today.
I have that sentence saved on my laptop. Just a simple cut-and-paste.
Reliever Tommy Hunter will be activated from his one-inning rehab assignment at Single-A Delmarva. His groin is fine - a sentence I’d rather not save on my laptop.
The Orioles will need to create a spot for Hunter on the 25-man roster. Would they designate Evan Meek again after purchasing his contract two days ago?
Meek wasn’t sure he’d make it onto the field yesterday. Twenty minutes before the pregame stretch, the Orioles hadn’t announced the corresponding roster move for Kevin Gausman.
As I talked to Meek about it, left-hander Tim Berry walked past us with a sheet of paper in his hand. He had just left manager Buck Showalter’s office, a clear sign that he had been optioned to Double-A Bowie.
“I have to be able to ignore all that and just focus on day to day when I get the ball,” Meek said. “I know with the stuff I have, I can help this team and I can be a big arm for them. It’s just a matter of, you’ve got to earn your innings and you’ve got to do well. Everyone knows that. But you also have to let things you can’t control not affect you.”
Meek has broke camp with the team and strung together eight consecutive scoreless appearances, been designated off the 25-man roster and outrighted after being designated off the 40-man. He’s been recalled and had his contract purchased.
“I’ve got tough skin. I can handle that,” he said. “Nobody ever wants to get up to the big leagues and be sent down, but it’s just part of the game and all I can do is do the best I can and be the best I can be.
“It’s been different. It’s been a frustrating couple of months, starting the season really well and having a few bad outings and going down and working stuff out and pitching well and then coming back up to Kansas City and getting sent down after Kansas City and not being back up.
“I feel great, even though I didn’t get the results I would have liked (Friday). The stuff was much better, the command was much better, the confidence is there. It’s just a matter of being consistent and going out there and putting up zeros when you’re called upon. Just try to stay positive.
“Anytime you go up and down and up and down, it’s tough to do that. When you’re here and you have a role, it’s easier, but there’s no excuses. You get the phone call and you get into a game, you’ve got to do your job. It’s great to be back here and be with the guys and be in this atmosphere, and I’m ready for things to go my way, so to speak.
“All I know is how I feel on the mound and you have to give yourself a good evaluation, and I feel good, I feel aggressive with the strike zone, attacking the hitters. I just have to keep working and stay positive and do what you can to help the team win, eat innings when guys are tired.”
Meek has allowed nine earned runs (10 total) in his last five appearances over 3 1/3 innings. The unearned run scored Friday night after shortstop J.J. Hardy booted a ground ball to put runners on the corners.
“I’ve just got to keep on grinding. I know that the best times are ahead of me,” Meek said.
“Personally, I feel good. I feel great on the mound. It’s just a matter of when now, and getting through this, not letting the tough times in the game beat you. I’ve been at the highest point and I’ve been at the low point, and this is just a middle ground. I’ve just got to keep working and get out of it, because I know I can help this team. I’ve just got to continue to keep my head up.”
While doing so, he hopes to avoid going back down to the minors. Meek can decline an outright assignment and become a free agent, though he’d forfeit the remainder of his major league salary.
“I do know that they took me off the 40-man, but you know what? I’m back here,” he said. “It was a move they needed to make for whatever reason they needed to make it, but for them to bring me back up and pitch me Friday night, it’s like, ‘Hey, we see it in there. Prove us right.’
“I’m so pumped to be here and I still have a good attitude about everything. It’s not an ideal situation, obviously. When you get up here, you want to stay up here. My goal is to go out there and pitch well and show them I can get outs consistently and then get back into a more secure role.”
Chris Davis figures to stay in the lineup, though his right side remains sore from his awkward “slide” into second base Friday night. He’s been icing it.
The A’s are sending left-hander Scott Kazmir to the mound. Kazmir is 6-2 with a 2.40 ERA in 12 starts this season, but also 5-5 with a 4.43 ERA in 16 career starts against the Orioles and 2-3 with a 4.86 ERA at Camden Yards.
Nick Markakis is 10-for-24 (.417) with two homers and seven RBIs against Kazmir.
Ubaldo Jimenez is 0-4 with a 5.72 ERA in five home starts this season, but he’s 3-0 with a 3.09 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings in four starts against the A’s.
Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson struck out four times last night. He also exchanged words with Manny Machado’s bobblehead.