Is DJ Stewart’s time approaching?

DENVER - Orioles executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias mentioned last week that Triple-A Norfolk outfielder DJ Stewart was on the club’s radar, based on the first-round pick’s scorching bat. However, he included the complication of trying to fit Stewart on the roster as a corner outfielder.

The Orioles have a wealth of them.

Putting first baseman Chris Davis on the injured list with left hip inflammation could open the door for Stewart, who’s already on the 40-man roster and on an incredible offensive tear.

Trey Mancini could play first base while Stewart gets some starts in right field under one of the scenarios.

Include Keon Broxton in center and Dwight Smith Jr. in left and the Orioles actually would have three natural outfielders in the outfield. It’s been a rare occurrence.

Stewart-Taking-Field-White-sidebar.jpgStewart didn’t impress in spring training, especially when placed beside other prospects putting up gaudy numbers. He went 8-for-30 (.267) with nine strikeouts and a .767 OPS and was included in the second round of camp cuts on May 10.

He deserves praise for battling through the disappointment of being optioned, a 5-for-23 start to the season and another difficult stretch that lowered his average to .202 on April 30, though he also had a .356 on-base percentage.

Ryan Mountcastle isn’t under consideration for a promotion because he’s only 22, playing a new position and in his first season at the Triple-A level. The Orioles want him to continue getting work at first base and Elias brought up the possibility of the outfield - which would be Mountcastle’s fourth position since the Orioles drafted him.

The other reason for keeping Mountcastle at Norfolk is a finger injury that’s made him day-to-day. He won’t be replacing Davis in Baltimore.

The state of the rotation forced the Orioles to summon reliever Evan Phillips yesterday instead of a position player. They didn’t know how many innings they’d get out of David Hess - he lasted 5 2/3 - and aren’t sure how much length they can get today from Gabriel Ynoa, who’s making his first start since September 2017.

Ynoa celebrated his birthday yesterday by leaving the team and flying back to Baltimore ahead of the charter. Let the starter get his rest instead of subjecting him to the late-night arrival.

(The flight home was delayed due to weather.)

The Orioles won’t go back to a four-man bench until their starters can begin working deeper into games. In the meantime, they could make another bullpen move today. It’s been discussed.

* Manager Brandon Hyde said he talks to Elias pretty much on a daily basis and is part of the process to acquire players via waiver claims. He isn’t kept in the dark or shut out.

“They involve me in when players are out there, just because I have familiarity with some of these guys,” he said. “A guy like Broxton I’ve seen play quite a bit. If I have an opinion on somebody I’ll offer it.

“Mike’s awesome about getting a wide range of opinions from people that he trusts, so yeah, we talk a lot about players that are out there, and Broxton was one of those.”

* Hyde offered more insight yesterday into his philosophies as a manager.

He’s fine with starters having personal catchers and will try to accommodate them.

Hyde is likely to keep pairing Andrew Cashner with Pedro Severino, as he did again Saturday night. Cashner has a 4.36 ERA in six starts with Severino, and he allowed four runs in four innings in his one start with Austin Wynns, who caught Hess yesterday afternoon.

Cashner allowed 11 earned runs in eight innings last season while teamed with Wynns, but he allowed only seven in 24 2/3 innings with Chance Sisco.

Dylan Bundy has a 3.14 ERA this season in five games with Wynns behind the plate and an 8.76 ERA in three starts with Severino.

Severino also was in the lineup Saturday because the Rockies started left-hander Kyle Freeland. He’s batting .364/.400/.697 against southpaws this season. But Cashner’s presence was a factor.

“I’ve talked to Cash a little bit about it a few starts ago, and they seem to work well together and on the same page,” Hyde said.

“I think Cash would be comfortable with anybody we throw back there, but just the success he’s had with Sevie, sticking with it for right now. And it worked out with the left-hander going against us, too. But I do believe in the relationship part, I believe in the camaraderie and I think that goes a long way. So that’s definitely considered on a daily basis.”

* My flight doesn’t get into Baltimore today until around 1:30 p.m., so I won’t be covering the game. I’ll return to Camden Yards on Tuesday.

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