Don’t assume that Matt Wieters is going on the disabled list with a hamstring injury. Executive vice president Dan Duquette mentioned on Wednesday how the Orioles needed “two healthy catchers,” and Clevenger could be the second one while Wieters is given a few more days to heal.
Wieters could have caught in an emergency Wednesday afternoon, but why push him? And he can continue to serve as the designated hitter if he’s able to run without pain and restrictions.
We’re still waiting to find out who’s starting for the Athletics tonight. It’s going to be a pitcher summoned from the minors. Not Sonny Gray. Not Chris Bassitt, who remains Saturday’s starter.
Brad Mills remains the most likely replacement, since he’s scheduled to start tonight for Triple-A Nashville and is 3-0 with a 1.56 ERA in three career starts against the Orioles.
Adam Jones is 1-for-8 with a home run against Mills. Chris Davis is 2-for-5 with a double.
* The Orioles planned on recalling a reliever before Wednesday’s game, but as I wrote, they couldn’t get left-hander Cesar Cabral to Seattle due to the early starting time. Now, there’s no need to bring up a fresh arm because Kevin Gausman worked seven innings and Brian Matusz was the only reliever used in a 3-0 loss.
Factor in yesterday’s off-day and the Orioles bullpen should be in pretty good shape.
* Matt Buschmann, the right-hander acquired from the Reds for cash considerations, made his first start last night for Triple-A Norfolk. He allowed two runs and two hits in three innings, with no walks, two strikeouts and a home run.
Duquette basically scouted Buschmann at Norfolk before the trade when the right-hander was starting for Louisville.
“He’s pitched against our Triple-A team a couple of times,” Duquette said. “He’s a veteran pitcher. That team is in contention at Norfolk and we had some injuries and needed the additional innings.”
Jason Stoffel, acquired from the Astros for cash considerations, was assigned to Double-A Bowie. He gave up one run and two hits in one inning in his Baysox debut on Wednesday.
“The kid Stoffel that we picked up has some good talent,” Duquette said. “He has more strikeouts than innings pitched. He has a good breaking ball, a good slider and a good, powerful fastball. With a little bit better control, he might be able to come up and help the major league team.
“He’s another veteran pitcher who can help us, and both of those teams are in contention in Double-A and Triple-A. And we’ll have some call-ups in September to support our efforts.”
* Dariel Alvarez hit his 16th home run last night for the Tides. His RBI total jumped to 69. And he still hasn’t made it to Baltimore or any other major league city.
It’s going to happen. It’s just a question of whether the Orioles wait until rosters expand in September.
Keep in mind that Alvarez would have to be added to the 40-man roster. Manager Buck Showalter always says it’s not a problem to create space.
* I wrote yesterday that Chris Parmelee suffered a broken left forearm Wednesday after being hit by a pitch in Durham. I failed to mention that the pitcher was Matt Moore, optioned by the Rays earlier this month.
Moore allowed three runs and five hits, with three walks and seven strikeouts, in 4 2/3 innings. Moore also forced Parmelee to wear a cast on his left arm only two games into his second stint with the Tides.
* If you break down the season into thirds, the Orioles are 2-3 since reaching the final 54 games.
In 2012, the Orioles went 36-18 in the last 54 games and earned a wild card berth. They went 26-28 while failing to make the playoffs in 2013, and 35-19 while winning the division in 2014.
* If it seems like Orioles pitchers keep giving up hits on 0-2 counts, it’s not your imagination.
Before Wednesday’s game, the Orioles ranked third in the majors with 77 hits allowed on 0-2 counts. The Twins were first with 81 and the Tigers were second with 80.
The Orioles’ total grew later in the day as Kyle Seager doubled on an 0-2 pitch from Gausman in the first inning and Robinson Cano delivered an RBI single on an 0-2 pitch in the third.
* Ubaldo Jimenez will try tonight to follow up on a magnificent outing in Anaheim, when he allowed two hits over eight scoreless innings.
Jimenez is 3-1 with a 4.91 ERA in five career starts against the Athletics. Billy Butler is 9-for-28 with a double and home run, Brett Lawrie is 3-for-8 with a home run and Josh Reddick is 3-for-10 with a double, home run and five strikeouts.