Corban Joseph optioned (and other notes, O’s up 3-0)

WASHINGTON - The Orioles created a roster spot for starter Andrew Cashner by optioning infielder Corban Joseph to Double-A Bowie.

The Joseph brothers are separated again after Corban went 1-for-9 in four games. He picked up an RBI last night on a fielder’s choice grounder.

Pedro-Alvarez-gray-at-bat-sidebar.jpgOther moves are coming within the next few days. And the Orioles are waiting for Pedro Álvarez to decide whether he’s going to report to Triple-A Norfolk after the Orioles designated him for assignment yesterday.

“(Joseph) is going to go back to Bowie and continue there,” said manager Buck Showalter. “We just had to make room for a starting pitcher today and Corban presented himself well, but let him continue with what’s a really good season there.

“There are some guys right now a little more versatile.”

Joseph pinch-hit last night with older brother Caleb on first base, a moment steeped in need and also sentimentality.

“He was our best option,” Showalter said. “With four left-handers now he’s probably not going to get another chance to hit. I thought it was a great spot for him and he put a pretty good at-bat together, but that was certainly a byproduct. I hope they got some pictures.

“I look at him as having a chance to return. I don’t think he’s going to go back to Bowie and do anything different than what he was doing there. He’s a good professional hitter. I don’t think it would matter if he was in Triple-A or Double-A, he’s going to do the same thing. He’s a good hitter. He’s got a good track record of hitting. He’s been consistent since the first day of the season, it seems like. He’s been fun to watch.”

Showalter gave Joseph the lineup card.

“But I’m hoping there’s some more, for his sake,” Showalter said.

“Those are tough. You feel good about a guy getting an opportunity. He deserved it. If you looked at everybody who was available and quite frankly, he had an option that was still there, which played into it.”

Reliever Darren O’Day received treatment on his hamstring and is available to pitch tonight. He hasn’t been used since Friday.

“He threw last night after the game down there, and I think he’s going to be OK to pitch tonight,” Showalter said.

Outfielder Colby Rasmus’ rehab assignment ends tonight, but the Orioles have 48 hours to make a decision on him. He homered today for the Baysox.

Tim Beckham led off today and served as the designated hitter with Norfolk, and went 1-for-4 with a run scored and three strikeouts. He’s expected to come off the disabled list Saturday while the club is in Atlanta.

Gabriel Ynoa has allowed two runs over seven innings in two rehab starts with Bowie, and is slated to work five innings on Sunday.

“Gabriel’s a guy who’s finally healthy and has got a chance to rejoin us here before long,” Showalter said.

Chris Tillman is scheduled to throw three innings tonight at short-season Single-A Aberdeen. What does Showalter want to see from him?

“I think just healthy, number one,” he replied. “I know Brady (Anderson) saw him at the stadium yesterday. He was working out there. I want to see him get people out and pitch well. Really, that sounds simple, but I think for Chris’ sake, regardless of what level you’re playing at, if you’re hoping to return here and regain some form, then you should be able to do well at the levels behind this level. That’s pretty simple.

“I want to see him get people out and have good outings.”

Showalter was asked again today about a timeline for Chris Davis’ return to the lineup. Again, there isn’t one that’s made public.

“I’m not going to totally commit to it right now,” Showalter said. “I think I’ve got a pretty good idea, so pretty close to it. I think in the next couple days.”

Davis continues his early hitting sessions.

“It’s always the proof is in the pudding, right?” Showalter said. “But like a lot of guys, he’s been able to kind of back off without the game there and really working on some things and trying to get some return. We’ve had some pitchers from the Frederick club throwing to him in a lot of game situations and being able to do a lot of things with not only hitting, but some other things that hope you kind of get a restart button on him. Let him kind of work on a lot of things that take more than a day or so.

“And if you or we or all of us are expecting there to be an instant return, I think that’s the wrong approach to it. But trying to get Chris back to some things that he’s capable of.”

Showalter repeated that he isn’t looking for favorable matchups for Davis, that the opposing pitcher won’t dictate the return date.

“Whether we’re facing a left-hander, right-hander, when we think it’s time, then he’s going to play,” Showalter said. “He’s going to play every day, unless he needs a day here or there or somebody is really in need of playing. It’s going to be a team thing. But the potential to get Chris back like he’s capable of is certainly a priority.”

Showalter would rather not use Davis as a pinch-hitter, which means an appearance tonight isn’t likely.

“But I would if I had to,” Showalter added. “He knows that.”

The tarp just came off the infield after a steady rain fell this afternoon.

Update: Mark Trumbo followed Jonathan Schoop’s bunt single in the second inning with a 427-foot home run off Gio Gonzalez to give the Orioles a 2-0 lead.

Update II: Adam Jones led off the sixth with a double against Shawn Kelley and he scored on Danny Valencia’s sacrifice fly to give the Orioles a 3-0 lead.

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