Orioles manager Brandon Hyde can envision how he’d like to line up his bullpen, though some of the names could change. How he’d want an innings-eater or two in long relief, a couple of left-handers and sturdy bridges to closer Mychal Givens, who in an ideal setting would be saved for the last inning.
The games and certain individuals won’t allow it to come to fruition.
Gabriel Ynoa allowed one run in his first 11 1/3 innings after the Orioles selected his contract, I wrote about him and now he’s surrendered nine earned runs and 11 total in his last three outings over four innings to leave his ERA at 5.87.
Ynoa had been valuable in long relief, and Hyde noted how the right-hander could push for a starting assignment. He’s out of minor league options and would have to pass through waivers and accept an outright assignment to stay in the organization if the Orioles were to attempt to send him down.
Yefry Ramirez was the other long reliever until he started Sunday in Cleveland. He was optioned after the game because the Orioles needed a fresh arm.
So much for that idea.
Richard Bleier’s return from the injured list allows Hyde to pair him with Paul Fry and give the club two left-handers in the bullpen. Bleier has pitched twice since his return, allowing three runs in 3 2/3 innings and actually lowering his ERA from 14.54 to 11.25.
Miguel Castro has a 7.48 ERA and 1.754 WHIP in 20 appearances. What he doesn’t own is a minor league option.
Rosterresource.com lists Castro with one remaining option, but he’s out. He, too, would have to pass through waivers before the Orioles could send him down.
What are the chances that he’d go unclaimed?
Castro retired the side in order with a strikeout Sunday after allowing four runs in his two previous outings, lasting only 1 1/3 innings total. He had gotten on a roll with seven scoreless appearances in a row.
Armstrong has been a valuable pickup off waivers from the Mariners, allowing only one run and three hits with 10 strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings. He’s entered games in the fifth, seventh, eighth and 10th innings, and he’s beginning to look like a guy who could fill a setup-type role as Darren O’Day and Brad Brach used to do.
Four batters faced last night, four batters retired. Hyde had to be tempted to leave him in against Gleyber Torres with two outs in the eighth.
Kline surrendered three runs in the fifth inning of a May 7 game against the Red Sox and took the loss, but wasn’t scored upon in his next three appearances over 4 2/3 innings. He allowed only one hit and lowered his ERA from 7.50 to 4.22.
The Yankees scored twice off him last night in the seventh inning, with one run unearned after Dwight Smith Jr.’s throwing error. Kline has pitched in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings. A closer at Double-A Bowie, he’s worked multiple innings in five of eight games with the Orioles.
* Last night’s late-inning meltdown ruined a game story that should have led with all the contributions from players moved up or kept in the lineup despite their struggles. And no one deserved the praise more than Hanser Alberto, who collected a career-high four hits and came within a triple of the cycle.
“It feels good,” he said. “I put a lot work in and it finally worked. You just continue with hard work and you get more hits like today.”
Alberto batted in the leadoff spot for only the second time in his career, and he certainly didn’t expect it last night.
“When I get the lineup, I was surprised, but at the same time I was ready,” he said. “I know we were facing a lefty (J.A. Happ) and I’ve been really good against lefties, and it worked.”
Alberto is 19-for-43 against them after getting three hits off Happ and one off Zack Britton.
* Ryan Mountcastle had a career-high five RBIs Sunday for Triple-A Norfolk, including an opposite-field three-run homer, and he’s hitting .325/.353/.519 in 39 games in his first season above the Double-A level. He has 11 doubles, a triple, six home runs and 29 RBIs in 160 at-bats.
The jump to another level hasn’t tripped him up - even at age 22.
The bat always intrigues, but it’s defense that fuels the development narrative with Mountcastle.
He was drafted as a shortstop, switched to third base and now has moved across the diamond to first.
“It sounds like he’s playing pretty well,” said Hyde, who spoke again with Tides manager Gary Kendall a few days ago.
“It’s coming along and he’s working really, really hard to take everyday reps over there. Not something that’s easy for Ryan, either. I think people think you can just throw somebody at first base and all you have to do is go step on the bag and catch the ball, and that’s not the case. There’s a lot more that goes into it, so to get Ryan a lot of reps defensively and in games, pre-game, all that stuff, they’re making progress and it’s going well.”
The third base experiment hasn’t been trashed. Mountcastle has made five starts this season at his second-newest position. But the Orioles want him to focus mainly on first, where he’s committed three errors in 32 games and 275 innings. He’s been charged with two errors at third.
Their roster is stocked with players who own a mitt, but they’re trying to avoid sticking a DH tag on Mountcastle at such a young age. They need to find a spot for him in the field.