The Orioles made it through the day without a roster move, but there are a few pending that can’t be ignored much longer.
Also, manager Buck Showalter wants a seventh reliever in the bullpen and hinted that the club won’t stay shorthanded through the week.
One possibility would be optioning Gausman following Thursday’s game and recalling a reliever, since the Orioles aren’t going with a six-man rotation. How they make room for Gausman is another matter.
“I don’t see a current scenario where he would stay, but a lot can change and he can help make that by pitching well. He can control it,” Showalter said. “We’re going to keep the ball in his hand every fifth day as much as we can. He needs to pitch, pitch innings as much as next year is concerned and this year.
“Like I’ve said many times, I don’t want to end up at the end of the year and have 80, 90 innings under his belt if the health will allow us. So far, it’s been good.
“He knows he’s going out, but something can happen between now and then that fits him somewhere else. It’s not like he can fit into the bullpen the day after he starts.”
Schoop worked out again today with vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson. He could continue his rehab assignment at Single-A Frederick instead of reporting to Norfolk.
“It’s kind of in Brady’s hands,” Showalter said. “I know every day that passes we feel better about Jon’s recovery, so he’s getting something from it. He’s already had, I think Brady said, 60 plate appearances. I asked Brady today how far removed from that before he needs to go get some more if he’s not active here. He said probably next day or two.
“I know Frederick’s at home and he can stay on a rehab assignment through the 3rd because he agreed to 15 days, the way I understand it. I’m going to talk to Jon today after batting practice and tell him what’s going on as soon as I kind of get brought up to date on what’s going on.”
Schoop seems to be recovered from a right knee injury that’s limited him to nine games with the Orioles.
“Jon’s benefitting from every day,” Showalter said. “If you went through the program, the work that Brady and them do, every day that passes you get a chance to strengthen that area around there. There are certain things that aren’t going to be completely the same, but he can have a long unaffected career if he does what he’s supposed to do there. And I know he will, especially as long as Brady’s around.
“If there was a pressing need, we could do (activate him), but I think there’s also something from talking to Brady and the doctors and the trainers to really benefit from every day that passes that he gets more work under his belt. There’s one thing we were very adament about was making sure he was 100 percent. And there’s no way we’re really going to be able to tell that until he plays completely, OK?”
I wouldn’t be surprised if Schoop gets his next round of at-bats in Frederick, but a final decision is pending.
“I’m going to leave that in Brady’s hands, but the competition might even be on a given night easier to hit at Norfolk because they’re around the plate a little more,” Showalter said. “Jon’s an option whether he goes to Norfolk or Frederick. I know what I would do, but I’m leaving it in their hands and they’ll let me know. And Dan (Duquette) will let me know if there’s a spot.”
The latest update on top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy isn’t encouraging. He remains shut down indefinitely and may not pitch again this season. It’s conceivable that the Orioles will aim for the fall instructional league.
“I don’t want to get into doctors’ evaluations, but I know Dylan throwing again is not imminent,” Showalter said.
Showalter added that surgery hasn’t been discussed and there aren’t any plans for Bundy to undergo a platelet-rich plasma injection in his shoulder. But everything is subject to change.
“He’s just kind of shut down for the near future. For a while,” Showalter said. “Kind of let everything calm down, see where we are. But depending on how you look at it, probably as good of news as you can expect. I obviously know a lot more than I’m going to talk about. He won’t be throwing for a little while. See how that is.”
Showalter made it a point to watch the press conference today introducing Andy MacPhail as the Phillies’ president in 2016. MacPhail, formerly the Orioles’ president of baseball operations, will serve as an advisor until the end of the season.
“Andy’s as solid a baseball guy as you are ever going to have,” Showalter said. “He understands the process and the end game. He never wavered from that. He had a great expression he would use with me, ‘If we didn’t do this, it would be front office malpractice.’ That’s all he had to say. I knew exactly what he was saying, though. He was talking about the long haul.
“When I came here and sat down with him and Peter (Angelos), we both talked about who are we and some bullets along the way. Andy took some bullets along the way to get it right. So did Dave Trembley. So did people before them. It’s like John Russell in Pittsburgh. It’s part of it and you should never forget that.
“They got a good, ethical, moral, solid man who happens to also be a good baseball man. They’e lucky.”
Could MacPhail check the Orioles’ inventory when ready to make hires? He’s certainly familiar with the personnel.
“There are always ways to keep good people,” Showalter said. “Ron Johnson and Mike Griffin, we like them a lot. Couldn’t imagine a better Triple-A manager and pitching coach, so we did what it took to keep them. Probably one of the higher coveted ... So you’ve got to ask for permission and then you have the ability to keep your people if you want to. If you don’t have that job description they are talking about ...
“I mean, there’s a lot of stuff there where guys, women, can leave. If you think you can better your life there, we have been pretty open about that. But you always have a way to keep them.”
Update: Mitch Moreland homered with one out in the second to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
Umpires originally ruled that Moreland singled and Delmon Young threw him out trying to stretch it into a double - the Orioles 23rd outfield assist and Young’s ninth. However, the call was overturned after review.
Update II: No. 9 hitter Carlos Corporon, batting .188, homered in the third inning to give Texas a 2-0 lead.
The Orioles almost produced the tying run in the second on J.J. Hardy’s two-out single and Steve Pearce’s double. However, Pearce’s ball hopped the fence and Hardy was sent back to third base.
Update III: Norris didn’t allow more than one home run in any start this season, but he’s given up three tonight, including a two-run shot by Moreland in the fourth. Rangers 4, Orioles 0
Update IV: Norris has tied his career high with four home runs, the latest a leadoff shot by Shin-Soo Choo in the fifth. Rangers 5, Orioles 0
Norris allowed seven homers in 10 starts before tonight. His last four-homer game was Sept. 7, 2014 against the Rays.
Update V: The Orioles loaded the bases with one in the bottom of the fifth and settled for one run on Adam Jones’ single. Chris Davis struck out and Delmon Young lined to right-center field.
Norris allowed five runs and nine hits in six innings, with one walk, four strikeouts and four home runs. He threw 105 pitches 68 for strikes.
Update VI: Joey Gallo’s three-run triple off Tommy Hunter with two outs in the seventh gave the Rangers an 8-1 lead.
Update VII: This one is finally over. The Orioles lose to the Rangers 8-1 before 21,565 at Camden Yards.
The winning streak ends at four games. The Orioles (41-35) lost for only the sixth time in their last 24 games.