ARLINGTON, Texas - Orioles manager Buck Showalter left open the possibility of going with a six-man rotation if Johan Santana is ready to come off the disabled list later this month.
The Orioles had projected Santana to join them on June 18, but it’s been pushed back a day after they purchased his contract yesterday from Triple-A Norfolk and placed him on the DL.
Showalter figures that Santana could use the extra rest between starts, and the two-time Cy Young winner isn’t a candidate for the bullpen.
Showalter said Matt Wieters won’t extend his throws beyond 120 feet. He reached 100 feet this afternoon.
Tommy Hunter could throw another bullpen session on Thursday or go on a rehab assignment. It may depend on how he responds to another round of pitchers fielding practice on Wednesday.
Dylan Bundy could begin his rehab assignment with short-season Single-A Aberdeen, which opens its schedule on June 13, after pitching Monday in an intrasquad game in Sarasota.
Bundy threw four perfect innings today against the Twins in Fort Myers and faced two extra batters, allowing his only hit. He struck out six and threw 56 pitches. His fastball sat at 91-93 mph and touched 94 mph.
The Orioles made Nelson Cruz available to the media in a 4:15 press conference, which was packed with Rangers media. Here’s a sampling:
“It’s good. I swung already, so it’s fine.”
On being back in Arlington
“It’s weird. I had been here so long that now to be on the other side, it’s kind of different. I keep in touch with (Adrian) Beltre and the other guys. I saw them last night, also.”
On what type of reception he’s expecting from fans
“Love, hopefully. You always try to expect the best, so hopefully I hear some cheers.”
On his feelings toward the Rangers
“A lot of positive stuff. I can’t be more thankful to the Rangers. They gave me the chance to be a major league player. The owner, the coaches, they taught me how to play baseball and how to be a professional. I can not give more thanks.”
On possibility of being booed
“It’s going to be weird. I always hear cheers and ‘Cruz’ here, so it’s hard to know what to expect. I have to be prepared, but I’m expecting the best.”
On signing with the Orioles
“I’m happy with the decision I made and happy with where I am. I don’t regret anything that I did. I think it was the right call.”
On whether he has anything to prove
“Every year I have something to prove. It doesn’t matter what happened last year or the year past. I think the expectations for myself are always high. Every year, I come into the season trying to prove something for myself.”
More on his wrist
“Yesterday, I did a lot of treatments and today I felt fine. Just to grip the bat, that was the hardest part.”
On how he’d handle another qualifying offer
“I don’t know. Different situation. I’ll have to see how everything goes in the end. It’s going to be totally different for sure.”
On whether he’s open to re-signing with the Orioles
“Yeah, I’m playing for Baltimore. That’s the team that I play for and I look for staying there.”
On his difficult experience last year with the suspension
“That was the more difficult time of my life. But like I said, going through all that helped me be the player that I am right now. I just try to stay in the present and leave all that stuff behind me.”
On whether it’s easier playing in Baltimore
“The weather? It was cool. The last few days it warmed up, but it was nice weather, yeah. We went on a couple trips where it was pretty cold, but it wasn’t bad.”