The Orioles flirted with the idea of switching to a six-man rotation earlier in the year and now they’re doing it - for one game.
The doubleheader in New York forced manager Brandon Hyde to find another starter today in Cleveland instead of using someone on short rest and he’s chosen right-hander Yefry Ramirez.
The alternative would have been an opener or recalling a starter from the minors, with left-hander Josh Rogers one of the possibilities.
Gabriel Ynoa threw 54 pitches in relief Thursday night and allowed four runs in 1 2/3 innings. His ERA has climbed from 0.79 on May 7 to 5.37 after allowing seven runs in his last two appearances over 2 1/3 innings.
Ramirez threw 73 pitches in 4 2/3 innings against the Rays on May 3 after replacing Dan Straily, so he’s stretched out. But he hasn’t gotten into a game since surrendering a tie-breaking home run to the Red Sox’s Andrew Benintendi in the 12th inning of a May 8 game at Camden Yards.
He did come out of the bullpen two days later against the Angels and warmed up for the top of the seventh inning, but didn’t throw a pitch because of a rain delay. Hyde turned to Miguel Castro after play resumed.
Today marks the first Orioles start for Ramirez since Game 2 of a Sept. 29 doubleheader against the Astros. He allowed three runs and five hits over six innings in a 5-2 loss.
Ramirez made an Aug. 19 start in Cleveland and surrendered seven runs and seven hits with five walks in only three innings in an 8-0 loss. It’s the only time he’s faced the Indians until today.
The Orioles stuck with five starters after Alex Cobb returned to the injured list with a lumbar strain. Ramirez could be one-and-done today, but he should view the assignment as an opportunity.
At least plant a seed in Hyde’s mind.
Straily is carrying an 8.51 ERA and 1.891 WHIP with 10 home runs allowed in 30 2/3 innings. He hasn’t gone more than 4 1/3 in his last four starts.
David Hess was tied for the most home runs allowed in the majors with 14 heading into yesterday.
* Mark Trumbo received his first two at-bats Friday afternoon in extended spring training in Sarasota and was twice nailed in the back by pitches from two Pirates right-handers from their Dominican Summer League team.
This isn’t how a batter regains his timing at the plate.
The Orioles play the Pirates again on Monday, giving Trumbo another chance to get a hit instead of getting hit.