Tyler Wilson added to rotation

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The Orioles have adjusted their rotation for the Rays series by inserting rookie Tyler Wilson.

Chris Tillman starts tonight, followed by Wilson on Friday, Wei-Yin Chen on Saturday and Kevin Gausman on Sunday. Ubaldo Jimenez had been scheduled for Sunday, but he could go Monday in Washington D.C. The Orioles are off next Thursday.

Manager Buck Showalter hasn’t met with the media to detail the changes and how they impact rookie Mike Wright, who lasted only three-plus innings last night and was charged with six runs. Wright is 1-5 with a 9.88 ERA in his last seven starts.

Tyler Wilson white night.jpgWilson was recalled on Tuesday after Triple-A Norfolk was eliminated from the International League playoffs. He’s 2-1 with a 2.19 ERA in six games (two starts) with the Orioles this season, allowing six runs and 24 hits in 24 2/3 innings, and 5-5 with a 3.24 ERA in 17 starts with Norfolk.

Wilson found out today that he was joining the rotation after spending last night in the bullpen.

“I’m really excited for the opportunity. Hopefully, I can just go out and attack the zone, throw strikes, get ahead and give our team a chance to win tomorrow,” said Wilson, 25, a 10th-round pick in 2011 out of the University of Virginia.

“I’m just excited to go out and contribute in any way they deem fit. Obviously, I’ve been in the bullpen yesterday and that was the plan moving forward, but I guess things have changed a little bit. I’m excited for the opportunity to pitch, no matter what the capacity is.”

Wilson, who’s had six stints with the Orioles this season, last pitched for Norfolk on Sept. 10. His last appearance with the Orioles came on Aug. 3 in Oakland, when he allowed two earned runs in 7 2/3 innings.

In two starts with the Orioles, Wilson is 1-1 with a 2.63 ERA in 13 2/3 innings.

“With everything kind of being a day at at time up here, I make it a point to focus on the things I need to work on to be ready to pitch every single day,” Wilson said. “With the bullpen, you kind of try to be ready every day. Now knowing I’ll be ready to pitch tomorrow doesn’t change anything. I’ll still be ready to go.”

The Orioles used five relievers last night, skipping Wilson in a 10-1 loss to the Red Sox. He didn’t take it as a sign that he would be starting this weekend.

“No. I felt that was because we have a deep bullpen,” he said. “We have a lot of arms out there and I think that I just took that as those guys were getting their work in because they hadn’t pitched in a few days and it was convenient that those guys could get one inning at a time and get out there and get their work in.”

The 2016 rotation should have at least one opening, but Wilson isn’t treating his latest start as an audition for the rest of this month or beyond.

“It’s important to just focus on the game at hand,” he said. “There’s a lot of things that go into this game that are out of my control, those decisions that people make. This opportunity that has presented itself tomorrow is just something I have been afforded the opportunity to do, so each time I go out I just go out there and compete.

“I try to control the things that I can, focus on the work week moving up to it, the scouting report and the plan of attack going in to tomorrow and just execution. And let everything else take care of itself.”

Wilson made a solid impression in spring training, including his start against the Yankees in Tampa. Did he imagine in March that he’d be pitching for the Orioles six months later while they’re still mathematically alive in the playoff race?

“I try not to get too far ahead of myself,” he said. “I think that in baseball it’s really, as cliché as it is, best to take it one day at a time and one start at time and to really try and focus on those things that I need to improve on in spring training that hopefully would afford me the chance later on in the season. But really just take it one day at a time.”

Wilson isn’t sure how deep he can go in Friday night’s game.

“We’ll find out when I go out there and I’ll go until they take the ball out of my hand, and that’ll take care of itself tomorrow,” he said.

At such short notice, Wilson isn’t expecting family and friends in Virginia to make the trip down to St. Petersburg.

“I don’t think so,” he said. “It’s just kind of, with the timing and all, I don’t think I’ll have any family here. But they’ll be watching on TV.”

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