Straily would have started Monday afternoon against the Tigers at Camden Yards, but the spot is listed as TBD. Manager Brandon Hyde said the replacement will be announced prior to Saturday’s game.
This is the latest reset employed by the Orioles, who are hoping that Straily can work out his issues away from the rotation and narrow his focus and workload.
Straily needs to thin out an ERA that’s grown to 9.09 and a 1.990 WHIP built over 34 2/3 innings. He’s surrendered 14 home runs, the last four coming over four innings Wednesday night against the Yankees.
“Dan’s going to be in the bullpen probably starting tomorrow,” Hyde said.
“I think it gives him a breather and he doesn’t have to go out and try to give us six, seven innings when he goes out on the mound. Work out of the ‘pen and maybe try to get more crispness out of his stuff. Just be able to short spurts with him.”
The Orioles signed Straily on April 5 after the Marlins released him, with the expectation that he’d consume innings and ease the burden on the younger starters and the bullpen. But he hasn’t worked more than five innings in any of his eight starts and hasn’t completed the fifth in his last five.
Straily’s minus-0.8 WAR per Baseball-Reference.com is the second-worst of his career.
“I think if things go well, then maybe get back in the rotation at some point,” Hyde said, “but we feel like the right thing to do for him and for us is to get him in the bullpen for now.”
The Orioles have been reluctant to move Straily in part because they don’t have an obvious candidate to replace him and David Hess also is scuffling. Hess, who leads the majors with 17 home runs surrendered, is starting Sunday afternoon in Colorado.
Using an opener hadn’t been discussed, according to Hyde, but Monday figures to be a bullpen game no matter the choice.
“We’re just not ready to announce it yet,” Hyde said.
The weekend interleague series allows Hyde to get back to the National League, where he served as a coach with the Marlins and Cubs.
“I love the National League game,” he said. “I’m excited to manage in the series. I think it’s going to be different for a lot of our players. This is something I’m a little more used to.
“It’s just different. You have the pitcher hitting obviously and all kind of things come into play from a double switch standpoint, just always knowing when the nine-hole hitter’s coming up - from not only our end but their end.
“I talked a little bit to our players just a few minutes ago about just being ready. It’s a totally different game, so you’ve just got to be ready. If you’re a bench player, you’ve got to be ready for anything. I’m looking forward to it.”
Hyde also spoke with new outfielder Keon Broxton, who’s batting sixth tonight and playing center field.
“I think he’ s just excited for the opportunity and I’m excited to give it to him,” Hyde said. “I’ve seen him play quite a bit the last few years. He’s obviously a really athletic guy that can really go play defense and he’s got some raw power and a lot of tools and I just know he’s looking for an opportunity to get consistent at-bats.
“I think the last couple years he’s been disappointed in how he was utilized, so he’s going to get an opportunity here and I know he’s going to try to make the most of it.”
Update: Nolan Arenado’s home run in the first inning gave the Rockies a 1-0 lead.
Update III: Dwight Smith Jr.’s home run in the third increased the lead to 4-1.
Update IV: The Orioles lead 5-1 in the fourth on Jonathan Villar’s RBI double.
Update V: The Rockies scored twice in the bottom of the fourth on Brendan Rodgers’ RBI single and Tony Wolters’ run-scoring double, and the lead is down to 5-3.
Update VI: Renato Núñez came off the bench to homer in his third straight game and give the Orioles a 6-3 lead in the seventh.
Update VII: Home runs by Trevor Story and Arenado off Shawn Armstrong tied the game 6-6 in the seventh inning.