The Orioles begin their three-game series in Cleveland tonight with Craig Gentry replacing Adam Jones on the 25-man roster while the latter goes on the bereavement list. Gentry is out of minor league options, however, which brings uncertainty to the length of his stay.
Jones will miss the entire series because he’s required to be gone for a minimum of three days. He’ll rejoin the club in Toronto.
Paternity leave enables a player to return in fewer than three days. I’m not clear on why Major League Baseball has a different set of rules for bereavement.
Gentry was batting .244/.306/.301 in 59 games before going on the disabled list with a fractured rib caused by an errant pitch from Braves reliever Peter Moylan on June 22. He played the following day, striking out in his only at-bat.
Gentry’s injury-rehab assignment lasted seven games. He went 6-for-10 with three walks in three games with Double-A Bowie and 3-for-13 with an RBI and six strikeouts in four games with Single-A Frederick.
The Orioles hosted the Indians in a four-game series back in April and went 1-3. They took the opener and dropped the next three.
Chris Tillman, Andrew Cashner and Kevin Gausman were the losing pitchers. Only Cashner remains with the club.
Gausman is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA and 1.053 WHIP in three starts with the Braves covering 19 innings. Tillman has made two starts with Triple-A Round Rock in the Rangers’ system and allowed four earned runs (five total) and four hits with four walks in 2 2/3 innings.
The Indians won six of seven games against the Orioles last season, including all three at Progressive Field, which will always be “The Jake” to me.
The evaluation process also continues for rookie David Hess, making his 12th major league start and 14th appearance tonight. He’s trying to lower a 6.25 ERA and 1.508 WHIP accrued over 59 innings.
Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco is 14-6 with a 3.50 ERA, 1.122 WHIP and two complete games in 23 games. He’s averaging 1.8 walks and 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings.
This is how a contender lives, versus a team that’s in a full rebuild.
Carrasco has registered five consecutive quality starts with six earned runs over 33 2/3 innings. He faced the Orioles on April 23 and held them to one run over 7 1/3 innings.
Lovers of small sample sizes should note that Mark Trumbo is 3-for-9 against Carrasco.
Carrasco has a 4.91 ERA and 1.382 WHIP in 11 home games this season, and a 2.55 ERA and 0.947 WHIP in 12 road games.
I wrote last night that the Orioles are expected to recall right-hander Ryan Meisinger or select the contract of left-hander Luis Gonzalez from Triple-A Norfolk. They need a replacement for Evan Phillips, who was optioned to the Tides following Wednesday night’s game.
Bowie’s Branden Kline is deserving of a spot in the bullpen, but he remained with the Baysox yesterday.
Kline’s path to the majors didn’t smoothen until earlier this summer as he traveled further from his elbow surgery and a couple of setbacks along the way. His velocity came back, the results were encouraging and the Orioles will consider promoting him later in the summer.
The Frederick native and second-round pick out of the University of Virginia in 2012 has gone 4-3 with a 1.62 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 11 saves in 26 games with Bowie, and Eastern League opponents are batting .197 in 39 innings. His fastball is touching the upper 90s and he’s been back on the Orioles’ radar for a while as positive reports keep flowing to manager Buck Showalter and director of player personnel Brian Graham.
Kline, 26, is 5-3 with a 1.51 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 13 saves in 14 opportunities in 38 relief appearances between Fredrick and Bowie. He’s allowed 10 earned runs (17 total) and 47 hits with 15 walks and 61 strikeouts in 59 2/3 innings, and opponents are batting .218 against him. He’s surrendered only two home runs.
This is turning into a much-needed feel-good story for an Orioles team that’s gone into full rebuild mode while carrying the worst record in baseball.
Due to his elbow injury, Kline hadn’t pitched in a minor league game since 2015. He underwent Tommy John surgery in October of that year and had two procedures in 2017 that delayed his return to the mound.
Baysox manager Gary Kendall has been giving Kline ample rest between appearances, using him four times this month. Kline has pitched on back-to-back days only three times this summer.
It isn’t unusual for the Orioles to bring up a pitcher from Bowie. They’ve done it in recent years with Mychal Givens, Donnie Hart, Hunter Harvey, Tanner Scott and Ashur Tolliver, and they were considering Gonzalez yesterday.
Eleven players already have made their major league debuts with the Orioles. The club record is 14, set in 1955.
The Orioles have used 51 players this season.