Thoughts on the roster and Gausman’s start

The Orioles are playing two games today and adding two players to their roster. Let’s hear it for symmetry.

Kevin Gausman will come off the taxi squad, be officially recalled and start Game 1 against the Rays. It’s just a question of whether he’s the 26th player or Bud Norris’ replacement.

Either way, the Orioles also are expected to recall reliever Evan Meek, since he flew into Baltimore last night.

How would the equation have changed if third baseman Manny Machado had to begin serving his suspension today?

The Orioles couldn’t replace him without sending out a player, but they could have used Gausman as their extra player and brought up an infielder to take Norris’ spot on the roster. Gausman would have been optioned afterward and the Orioles would have played a man short until Machado returned without losing a reliever.

Does that sound right? I’m seriously confused by so many things.

For example, I was counting two missed starts for Norris, who’s headed to the disabled list with a strained right groin. He won’t pitch Tuesday against the Rangers and he’s not eligible to return five days later against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. However, after taking a short nap and consulting with my Magic 8 Ball, I determined that it’s actually one missed start because of today’s doubleheader.

Norris’ replacement (T.J. McFarland?) will start on July 1, followed by Gausman or Chris Tillman on July 2, Gausman or Tillman on July 3, Wei-Yin Chen on July 4, Miguel Gonzalez on July 5 and Ubaldo Jimenez on July 6. Norris comes off the DL on July 7.

Without yesterday’s off-day, Norris actually would have missed two starts. But since the Orioles were going to push him back to Tuesday, we’ll say it’s one start and try not to overthink it.

Maybe it’s just a technicality or semantics. I mean, does being pushed back count as a missed start?

Is it too early for another nap?

No wonder manager Buck Showalter didn’t want to talk about a six-man rotation. He must have sensed that a groin injury was coming.

This guy really is good.

Gausman is facing the Rays again after shutting them out over six innings on June 18. He’s given up two runs in 19 innings over his last three starts.

Ben Zobrist is 4-for-7 with two doubles against Gausman. Yunel Escobar is 4-for-5.

The Orioles have won three straight series and four of five. They split a four-game series against the Blue Jays from June 12-15.

Nelson Cruz is the first Oriole with multiple grand slams in the same season since Brian Roberts in 2009. The last Oriole with at least three in the same season was Chris Hoiles in 1998, including two against the Indians in the same game.

Who holds the club record for most grand slams in a season?

Too late. It’s Jim Gentile with five in 1961.

Cruz’s 24 home runs before the All-Star break ties him with Boog Powell (1969) for fourth in Orioles history.

The Orioles have scored in the eighth inning or later in seven consecutive games.

The Orioles signed reliever Julio DePaula to a minor league deal and assigned him to Double-A Bowie. The independent York Revolution made the announcement here. Also says so on his Wikipedia page, which wouldn’t lie.

DePaula, 31, appeared in 16 games with the Twins in 2007. He’s spent the past two years with the Revolution.

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