The Orioles made their roster move official about an hour before first pitch by placing Andrew Cashner on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to Saturday with a strained muscle in his lower back. Left-hander Donnie Hart was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk.
Hart is available in the bullpen tonight. He’s allowed one earned run (two total) and six hits in 5 2/3 innings with the Orioles over five appearances as he continues to ride the shuttle between Norfolk and the majors. He’s registered a 2.66 ERA and 1.268 WHIP in 19 games with the Tides.
Yefry Ramirez also is headed to Baltimore and could start Wednesday afternoon’s series finale against the Red Sox. Ramirez will be making his second appearance with the Orioles this season, but he spent only one day with them and didn’t pitch.
The Orioles recalled Ramirez on April 10 when they designated Rule 5 pick Nestor Cortes Jr. for assignment.
Cashner has made 13 starts with the Orioles and gone 2-8 with a 4.98 ERA and 1.687 WHIP in 72 1/3 innings. Opponents are batting .302 against him.
“I don’t know what caused it,” said manager Buck Showalter. “It might have been the four days on the turf there in Toronto, he thinks had something to do with it. He’s gotten a little bit better each day, but not to the point where he can start tomorrow. So we’ll backdate that to his last start by DLing him today and he’ll just miss one start.
“We were aware of what might happen, but there just wasn’t enough improvement between the last couple days to put him out there in potential harm’s way. Or have him pitch just one or two innings and have an issue.”
Cashner faced the Blue Jays on Friday and allowed three runs and nine hits over six innings in a 5-1 loss. He threw 95 pitches.
“A day or so afterwards it started,” Showalter said. “You can talk to him and find out exactly, but when we were made aware of it I kept asking whether we thought his next start would be in jeopardy and they said it would be kind of iffy, so we were preparing for it. Each day it got a little bit better, but not to the point where he should start tomorrow.”
Showalter said he had multiple options for Wednesday’s starter, including Miguel Castro if not used tonight out of the bullpen.
“Tonight’s game might have some impact on it, but we’re prepared for it to come from (outside) right now,” Showalter said. “I was trying to stay away from Miguel yesterday. He really needed an extra day’s rest. But he’s such a versatile piece, it’s hard to get through games without using him periodically.”
Word leaked earlier in the day that Ramirez was coming to Baltimore.
“As far as the starter for tomorrow, I don’t think it’s set in stone, but I know where we’re leaning,” Showalter said. “If you start someone, let’s say Miguel, that means he’s gotten through the game tonight without pitching and it means that you’re going to have to pitch some innings behind him tomorrow. Of course, when you bring in a pitcher from Norfolk, it’s very rare they do as well as David (Hess) has been doing, so you’ve got to be able to cover their start, too, especially against a good team.
“The good news is we have an off-day on Thursday, which should help us reset a little bit.”
Showalter confirmed later that Ramirez is a candidate. He wasn’t aware that the media knew about the right-hander’s trip to Baltimore.
“It was either him or (Jimmy) Yacabonis, who only had three days off after 63 pitches,” Showalter said.
“You should have jumped in there. Look how much time you would have saved me talking about it.”
Rule 5 pick Pedro Araujo was placed on the 10-day disabled list yesterday with a right elbow sprain, creating a roster spot for closer Zach Britton.
Araujo, via translator Ramón Alarcon, said he didn’t know how long he’d be off the active roster. He must accumulate 90 days to lose his Rule 5 status.
“The elbow has been bothering me for a few days now. Seven days, eight days approximately,” he said.
“No throw for the moment. Just taking it one day at a time. I still don’t know when I’ll be back. Just taking it one day at a time and no throw at the moment.”
Araujo doesn’t have a history of arm trouble, which leads to some concerns about the cause and recovery.
“It’s an unknown territory for me, not knowing really what to expect,” he said, “but one day at a time is my mindset right now.”
Asked to describe the discomfort, Araujo said, “It’s soreness right now that I’m feeling. Hopefully, it’s not that big of a deal. Hopefully, I can come back as soon as possible.”
The transition from Carolina League to the majors has been difficult for Araujo and at times overwhelming. He’s allowed 24 runs and 29 hits with 18 walks in 28 innings and has surrendered nine home runs - including two over one inning Sunday afternoon in Toronto.
Now comes the decision to put him on the disabled list for an indefinite period.
“It’s definitely very disappointing,” he said. “I want to be out there competing and try to help my team. Obviously, I can’t do it without being 100 percent healthy, so right now I just need to be healthy first.”
Showalter said Manny Machado, back in the lineup tonight, still feels a little weak from the illness that forced him on the bench last night, but his condition has improved.
Chris Davis isn’t in the lineup tonight against left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez and could sit out Wednesday’s game against lefty Chris Sale. The off-day on Thursday would extend his inactive period.
“We’re trying a lot of things,” Showalter said. “Chris isn’t the only one. Nobody’s just saying that. We’ve got multiple guys struggling compared to what they’re capable of. Chris has been really challenged for an extended period of time. Part of it is that and part of it is just my decision.”
Asked what the club would like to see from Davis moving forward, Showalter noted that the answer should be pretty obvious and said, “Just a better return. Not purely statistical, but more productive.
“Chris is a very productive run-producing guy who’s a good defender and that’s what you’d like to see, to be able to be in the middle of our lineup producing runs again.”
Update: Joey Rickard led off the bottom of the first inning with his fourth home run of the season, but the Red Sox took a 2-1 lead in the second on Rafael Devers’ two-run shot off Hess following a leadoff walk.
Update II: Andrew Benintendi’s home run in the third inning gave Boston a 3-1 lead.
Update III: Rickard walked to lead off the third and scored with two outs on Danny Valencia’s single to cut the lead to 3-2.
Update IV: Hess was charged with five runs and five hits in 3 1/3 innings and the Orioles are down 5-2. The last run scored on Castro’s balk with the bases loaded. Hess walked in a run before exiting.
Update V: Castro was charged with a run in the fifth on Christian Vazquez’s two-out RBI single after a single, wild pitch and intentional walk, and the Red Sox lead 6-2.