Pregame notes and quotes from Showalter and Meek

Triple-A Norfolk infielder Jemile Weeks flew into Baltimore last night and is available to the Orioles if third baseman Manny Machado has to begin serving his suspension today.

Weeks was in the Tides’ clubhouse yesterday, but didn’t stay for the game.

Manager Buck Showalter is on high alert. He received a phone call from executive vice president Dan Duquette this morning and feared the worst. However, Machado remains on the active roster and is starting Game 1 of the doubleheader against the Rays.

Major League Baseball hasn’t indicated when a decision on Machado’s appeal hearing will be handed down, which is a source of frustration to the club.

Showalter indicated that the Orioles could add a position player between games of the doubleheader, though it may not necessarily involve Weeks. The Orioles could option reliever Evan Meek, who was recalled today.

Stay tuned. And yes, it’s a bit confusing.

Kevin Gausman apparently will be optioned following Game 2. The Orioles haven’t decided whether he will meet up with Norfolk or Bowie.

Showalter eliminated Gausman and Randy Wolf from consideration for Tuesday’s start against the Rangers. He doesn’t want Gausman working on short rest, saying it wouldn’t be “fair to him or the team or the organization or the fans, because I think it puts him in harm’s way.” Wolf is limited to about three innings and 50 pitches at Norfolk after signing a minor league contract over the weekend. The bullpen would have to cover too many innings.

“We’ll be all right,” Showalter said. “We have some good options. That’s kind of where you were hoping a guy like Johan (Santana) would fit in.”

Reliever T.J. McFarland is a strong candidate to start Tuesday, “but it depends what happens between now and then,” Showalter said. “We’re going to try to win every game we can and see what’s standing on Tuesday. I have thought about what day would be the last day I’d feel comfortable using a guy like Mac before you could start him on Tuesday, and also how far we felt like a guy like him could go compared to a guy in Norfolk or Bowie.”

Gausman could be recalled to start Wednesday or Thursday, though Showalter isn’t making any promises.

“Nothing’s said that he’s going to be back when those 10 days are up,” Showalter said. “We don’t have to do that.”

Showalter is confident that Bud Norris will be ready to come off the disabled list when eligible on July 7. Norris underwent an MRI yesterday that revealed a strained right groin.

“That’s one of the things we’re able to do now that we weren’t able to do in the past is the MRI,” Showalter said. “You can tell the degree of severity, and when they said it was going to be four or five days before he should get on the hill again, that would take us to the 10 days. You can only backdate 10 days, so waiting around isn’t very beneficial.

“We feel confident we can resolve it in the DL period.”

The Orioles benefit from having a sixth starter, but the doubleheader complicates matters.

As for Meek, he found out about his latest promotion to the majors yesterday before the Tides took the field in Pawtucket. He wasn’t told how long he’d be with the Orioles.

“Most of the time when you get that call, you never really know,” he said. “You just pack your bag and come to the stadium and see what you’ve got. But anytime you get it, it’s exciting to come up and help out the team, so it’s good to be here.”

Meek has been good, tossing 9 2/3 scoreless innings in his last nine outings with Norfolk.

“It’s kind of that part of the year where everyone kind of turns it up,” he said. “You have your beginning of the season, and then right toward the middle guys kind of start stringing together some scoreless innings, or hitters come into their own. But I’ve been feeling really good on the mound and been pitching well. I’ve been pretty consistent, so I’m happy with how I’ve been doing.”

Meek began the season with the Orioles. He was optioned May 1, recalled May 15, designated off the 25-man roster May 16, optioned May 17, outrighted to Norfolk May 28, had his contract selected June 6, optioned June 8 and recalled today.

“I lost count,” he said, smiling. “You put all of that aside because that’s not really relevant. If the phone rings and you’ve got to go in and pitch, you go in and try to get outs. Obviously, in a perfect world, you want to get the call to the big leagues and never go back down, but we all know how funny this game is, how clubhouses can change so fast. And sometimes you get in a situation where the guys up here have been doing a really good job and sometimes you need an arm.

“It’s good to be a guy who can come up and do that, but obviously on a more personal level, you want to stay and contribute on a consistent level. But this is what we’ve got right now and you’ve got to make the best of it.”

For the Rays
Desmond Jennings CF
Kevin Kiermaier RF
Ben Zobrist SS
Evan Longoria 3B
James Loney 1B
Brandon Guyer LF
Matt Joyce DH
Sean Rodriguez 2B
Jose Molina C

Alex Colome RHP

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