TAMPA - Orioles manager Buck Showalter will wait until Thursday morning to make his next round of cuts. The roster currently holds 39 players.
Miguel Castro’s struggles continued tonight with five runs (four earned) and five hits allowed over three innings. He also walked three batters and threw 66 pitches, 38 for strikes, in a 9-4 loss to the Yankees.
“I felt well despite the results,” Castro said via translator Ramón Alarcón. “I thought I was trying to make good pitches. Some pitches I thought were in the zone, but the umpire thought otherwise, so I was just trying to compete out there.”
Castro said his approach didn’t change with news that the club signed starter Alex Cobb.
“My mindset is still the same,” he said. “Go out there, compete, try to help my team and whatever the team decides for me, I’ll be happy for it.”
His reaction to Cobb’s signing?
“I feel good,” he said, “because I see it as an opportunity for the team to continue to compete to be in the hunt, that the team wants to compete and wants to win. I feel good for my team.”
Castro could break camp as the fifth starter until Cobb is ready, go back to the bullpen or head down to Triple-A Norfolk. He’s allowed nine earned runs and 10 total with 11 hits in his last three appearances over 9 2/3 innings.
“I think I’ve been a little bit inconsistent command-wise,” he said. “That’s one of the things I’m working on and will continue to work on so that I can help my team. As a pitcher, I know I will have ups and downs, but I just try to concentrate on the good stuff and keep improving day by day.”
Said Showalter: “Stuff is fine. Command has been a challenge off and on for him, like a lot of guys. Kind of searching for that. I think a lot of guys, you’ll see a little more comfort zone once they get settled into where they’re going to be, regardless of where it is. You’re seeing a lot of anxiety this time of year. Try to keep that in mind.”
Castro would join Norfolk’s rotation if he’s optioned. The conversion to possible starter has been an ongoing process.
“He threw seven, eight, nine changeups tonight,” Showalter said. “The ability to defend himself against left-handed hitters regardless of where he ends up. Obviously, it’s going to be in our bullpen or probably starting in Norfolk, one of the two, when Cobb gets ready. So those are the things we’re looking at.”
Aaron Judge homered twice tonight, with a solo shot off Jason Gurka in the fourth inning and a three-run shot off Nestor Cortes Jr. in the eighth. Cortes hadn’t allowed a run in three innings, but he came back out for the eighth and Judge cleared the left field fence after back-to-back singles started the rally.
Cortes gave up three runs and four hits in four innings, walked two batters, struck out three and hit a batter.
“He’s capable,” Showalter said. “His sequence has to be good and he’s got to keep all the pitches in play in the hitter’s mind. When he does, he can have some success.”