There wasn’t much news to come from today’s pregame media session with manager Buck Showalter, beyond the announcement that the Orioles signed their top three picks in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft - third-rounder Brian Gonzalez, fourth-rounder Pat Connaughton and fifth-rounder David Hess.
The Orioles are making all three players available to the media today.
“We’re going to see them today, we’re going to talk to them,” Showalter said. “I think one of the biggest things other than judging projectability and ability is signability. It’s obvious our guys have done a good job of that.
“I see those eight or nine high school guys, those are guys that are really hard to sign without the money in the first or second round slots. We’re going to sign one or two of them, though. If we can get those guys.
“To get these guys signed that quick and have a chance for them to be in Aberdeen or Sarasota that quickly, that’s one of the reason Hunter Harvey has had such a good ascension, because he got signed and got pitching right away.”
Connaughton is a 6 foot 5 pitcher who also plays basketball at Notre Dame.
“I’ve become a Notre Dame basketball fan, and I’m not pulling for them to go into the postseason,” Showalter said. “Everybody from an Irish Catholic background, I apologize.”
Showalter keeps joking that he wishes he hadn’t mentioned the possibility of a six-man rotation because he’s now asked about it several times a day. It’s an option, though unlikely to happen.
“Talk about regrets, I have a few,” he said. “Bringing that up.”
If Kevin Gausman turns in another outstanding start tonight, the Orioles could keep Miguel Gonzalez on his injury rehab assignment for one more game. Gonzalez worked 4 1/3 innings last night at Double-A Bowie.
“He’s close,” Showalter said. “Earliest you could use him is Sunday and that would be on three days rest after throwing 70 pitches and that would be out of the bullpen if there was a need. Like to not do that.
“The options are to start him Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Going to probably keep Wei-Yin (Chen) on his turn. The other one is to start him one more time. That’s where we are. See how things develop over the next couple days, what things might show up that tilt it one way or the other. But it’s good to know he’s sound and physically ready to return to us here shortly.”
The Orioles still intend to bring up an infielder and likely go with an 11-man pitching staff when third baseman Manny Machado begins serving his suspension. Machado is appealing it and his hearing could take place next week while the Orioles are in New York.
Orioles pitchers have gone 33 straight innings without allowing a home run, the last one Brandon Moss’s third-inning grand slam on Sunday. They’ve gone 19 straight innings without allowing an extra-base hit, the last one David Ross’ eighth-inning double on Monday.
The last time the Orioles held the Red Sox without an extra-base hit in two straight games was June 27 and Sept. 20, 1984. The club record against Boston is three in a row Sept. 2-4, 1974.
Orioles starters have allowed two earned runs or fewer in 10 of the last 13 games, posting a 1.39 ERA in those 10 games.
Left-hander Erik Bedard is scheduled to face his former club Tuesday night at Tropicana Field. Jake Odorizzi is slated to pitch on Monday and Alex Cobb on Wednesday.