The Orioles are bringing more roster intrigue to the party today.
Outfielder/first baseman Chris Parmelee will come off the taxi squad and the Orioles seem intent on giving him an audition with the major league club. Parmelee could have exercised the opt-out clause in his contract yesterday, but the Orioles didn’t give him a chance.
“We have first dibs,” said manager Buck Showalter.
The trick is making room for Parmelee on the 25-man roster. Do the Orioles eliminate a left-handed hitting outfielder - Travis Snider and David Lough are out of options - or could they send down pitcher Mike Wright and go with an extra bench player until needing a starter on Friday in Toronto?
The latter move would be the equivalent of a stall tactic.
I talked to a scout who said Parmelee is in much better shape than in past years with the Twins. The Orioles are intrigued by Parmelee’s bat and ability to play the outfield and first base, but they also know that the Twins gave him plenty of chances and he couldn’t live up to his status as a first-round draft pick.
Do the Twins know something that the Orioles are about to discover on their own, or does Parmelee, at age 27, finally have it figured out?
Doesn’t hurt to take a look at him, but I’d go with a stall tactic before choosing to designate a player. My guess is Wright gets optioned. No inside information. It’s just a guess.
Of course, a player could end up on the disabled list. It’s not like the media has access to the daily injury report.
The Orioles could make room on the 40-man roster by transferring second baseman Jonathan Schoop to the 60-day disabled list. It wouldn’t push back the date of his return. When he’s deemed ready, the Orioles will activate him.
Jimmy Paredes needs to keep hitting. No pressure, of course, but a guy without a position can’t stay on this roster and clog the designated hitter spot if his bat goes cold. Not with the Orioles carrying seven outfielders if you include Parmelee and don’t remove anyone else. Players need to be rotated into that spot.
Paredes’ average dropped from .353 on May 27 to .294 on June 10. He’s 5-for-12 in his last three games.
As for the rotation, the Orioles could give Wright the start on Friday, insert Tyler Wilson into the rotation after his 3 1/3 scoreless relief innings on Sunday or activate Kevin Gausman from the disabled list. Gausman is scheduled to pitch two innings tonight at Single-A Frederick, the equivalent of a tune-up before rejoining the Orioles.
“We have decided, and (Wilson) is an option,” Showalter said. “There are a lot of options and we want to see how things play out. Kevin Gausman is pitching Tuesday. He’s an option. This is all derived from Miguel Gonzalez being on the disabled list and no off-days.
“We’ve got an off-day to play with on Monday and I’ve got a real good idea what we’re going to do. Some of it will start revealing itself in the next day or two.”
Chris Tillman will try to run his winning streak to three tonight. He’s allowed six runs and 11 hits in 12 innings over his last two starts, eclipsing 100 pitches in both outings.
Tillman has never faced the Phillies and he’s only pitched against two of their current players. Jeff Francoeur is 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts, and Ben Revere singled in his only at-bat.
The Orioles are familiar with Phillies right-hander Jerome Williams, who’s registered one victory since April 26. In his last three starts, he’s allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings, four runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings and four runs and nine hits in six innings. Williams has surrendered five home runs in those starts.
Williams is 4-2 with a 4.71 ERA in seven career games (five starts) against the Orioles and 2-1 with a 5.28 ERA in three games (two starts) at Camden Yards. J.J. Hardy is 7-for-19 with a double and home run, Chris Davis is 3-for-9 with two doubles and a home run, Manny Machado is 3-for-8 with a double and home run, Nolan Reimold is 3-for-6 with a double and home run, and Snider is 3-for-5 with a double.