Stewart’s contract was purchased earlier today and he met with reporters in front of his locker before batting practice.
“He’s been out a little bit,” Showalter said. “He worked out yesterday. I’m going to let him have a day here. I have plans to play him tomorrow and see where it takes us.
“Take advantage of the opportunity we have to see some of these guys.”
Stewart hit .212/.283/.342 in the second half and wondered whether he might be excluded from the expanded roster.
“He’s going to be on the (40-man) roster anyway when the season’s over,” Showalter said. “We’re going to protect him and it doesn’t really affect anything else other than taking advantage of a rare opportunity to get to see him.
“Like I told him today, I talk all the time about two or three weeks after the season is over, guys kind of look back at their season and sometimes the best development goes on when you’re away from it like that. We talked a little bit about his season. He had a good year last year and he was well on his way to a really good year this year and didn’t quite finish it off.
“Hopefully, he can end on a good note here and go into next year with some positive feelings about where he’s headed. We have that. Just didn’t happen the last half of the season. Really, the last third, I think.”
Showalter and executive vice president Dan Duquette have been talking about the possibility of promoting Stewart for quite a while.
“Even in late August, September, we kept waiting for him to kind of get it going again and have him come up on a positive note,” Showalter said. “I think some of the pressure of that, too, probably weighed on him some, especially when you’re sitting there and you see guys go up and you know the opportunity might be there.
“I just look at it as a guy that’s go the potential to have a future and in our plans and let’s take a chance. I mean, why not?”
Stewart hit .253/.361/.422 in the first half and the Orioles didn’t want to judge him strictly on what happened after the International League All-Star break.
“You look at the skill set and the things they bring,” Showalter said. “Do you throw out everything they’ve done before the last couple of months? Sometimes, even at the big league level, guys have a really good first half and so-so second half, but the body of work is OK.
“A lot of it is the effort, the baseball player part of DJ is really good. You’re going to like the way he plays, you’re going to like the way he competes. Sometimes, that can be rewarded, too. He’s got a good eye at the plate, got some pop. It’s the biggest jump and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t hold his own here. He’s a talented kid. I really like the way he approaches things from an effort standpoint and his alertness.”
Stewart will be the 55th player used this season to set a club record and the 14th to make his major league debut, which ties the record set in 1955.
“For me, it was a tale of two seasons,” Stewart said. “Started off relatively hot and kind of carried that into from last year in Bowie. To me, I think, this is not making excuses at all, but after I got injured a little bit (in late May) and now that I had that week to think about it, I feel like when I got back I was kind of trying to get back to where I was hitting before I got hurt instead of just playing.
“Early in the season I was just playing the game, having fun and getting hits. When I got back it was like, ‘All right, you have to get back to where you were.’ Kind of put too much pressure on myself just trying to do too much. Trying to get three hits in one at-bat when no one can do that. To me, it was more of a mental thing that I let snowball on me a little bit. But to have that week off, this is like a new start. See what can happen.”
Reliever Cody Carroll was recalled today. He didn’t attract as much attention as Stewart, but he’s happy to be back in the majors.
Carroll was given the news Sunday afternoon and packed his bags for Baltimore. The uncertainty about whether the Orioles would place him on the expanded roster were removed.
“There was a little bit of doubt there. I didn’t really know,” he said. “I know they had a ton of guys up here already, so I was just kind of waiting it out.”
Carroll allowed seven runs and eight hits with nine walks in nine innings. He got a chance to measure the jump from Triple-A to the majors and noted the imposing distance.
“There was a bunch of stuff,” he said. “Just trying to figure out how to pitch up here, really. Figuring out what you can and can’t do. Everything is a little more amplified up here. You can’t miss as much as down in the minors. Stuff like that.
“It’s way easier said than done, of course, but that’s something you’ve just got to continually work on.”
Adam Jones made it back into the lineup tonight and Showalter indicated that putting a more competitive team on the field against a playoff contender is one consideration. There are a few factors at work.
“That’s one of them,” Showalter said. “Of course, I can’t be a prognosticator and look at standings and say, OK, I don’t think Tampa has a chance or Toronto has a chance. I know mathematically what it means. I have my own feelings about who I think will actually have a chance the last week or so, but that can change. But my first and foremost responsibility is to our organization, doing what’s best for it, now and for the future, which should be the same thing.
“It’s really hard to bridge those two things every day. It’s some of the hardest lineups I’ve ever made out.”
Asked whether he could have imagined a few months ago that the best decision for the organization would be not playing Jones, Showalter replied, “I was certainly hoping that wouldn’t become the case and that’s not always the case.”
“Adam is still going to play, he’s going to play some games,” Showalter added. “We’re certainly going to treat him with the respect that he has due and with a really strong memory of what he’s been for us through the years. We talked many times about it.”
The homestand also played a part in the decision to start Jones again.
“It’s all factors, believe me,” Showalter said.
Showalter met today with left-hander Josh Rogers and wouldn’t reveal whether the rookie will be shut down for the rest of the season, which is the expected outcome.
“First of all, he’s going to hear it from me first if that is the case,” Showalter said. “It’s something that we discussed today and we’ve got a pretty definitive plan about how we want to handle him the rest of the way.
“We also looked at starters for Friday and Saturday and Sunday, depending on weather, obviously, and some other things. But when you look at the people that are available to pitch ... That’s one of the reasons why Cody is here, too, because if we start limiting some people’s innings or not pitching them, then we’ve got to have people to pitch those innings.
“It’s something that will be a lot more publicly evident after today.”
Innings aren’t the only consideration.
“There’s a lot of factors that figure into it,” Showalter said. “You start out with just the numbers, OK? But you don’t let that be completely ... You watch guys on workdays, you’re getting to know the guy, you’re looking at maybe an outing in May or June, what did it look like compared to what it looks like now? You can look at something as easy as the analytics of the velocity and the spin rate, all the things that tell you the guy’s kind of at the end.
“We’re taking all those things into consideration because regardless of what they end up being, you’re going to treat them right now like they’re going to be Cy Young. You better, because you don’t know where the end game’s going to be, but you’re not going to put them in harm’s way.”
The Athletics still aren’t listing a starter for Wednesday, but they’re sending left-hander Brett Anderson to the mound on Thursday. The Orioles are starting Andrew Cashner and Dylan Bundy in the last two games of the series.
On this date in 1974, Ross Grimsley pitched 14 innings and didn’t get the decision in the Orioles’ 3-2, 17-inning win over the Yankees at Memorial Stadium. No Orioles pitcher has worked that many innings since Grimsley’s start.
For the Athletics
Ramón Laureano CF
Matt Chapman 3B
Jed Lowie 2B
Khris Davis DH
Matt Olson 1B
Stephen Piscotty RF
Marcus Semien SS
Chad Pinder LF
Jonathan Lucroy C
Mike Fiers RHP