The Orioles are set with two of their starters for next week’s series against the Rays at Tropicana Field. However, they haven’t committed to anyone for Monday’s opener and are mulling a variety of possibilities.
“Not ready to announce,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “We just have some gaps to fill and we’ll do that here shortly.”
Asked whether the choice could come from the minors, Hyde replied, “We’re looking at the whole organization to see what we’re going to do. We’re not sure as of right now.”
The odds of Chance Sisco staying in the lineup improve if the Rays trot out right-handed starters or openers. Sisco is 0-for-2 in only three plate appearances against left-handers. Pedro Severino is slashing .329/.377/.629 in 77 plate appearances.
Sisco hadn’t been in the lineup since June 21 prior to last night and had started only three times since June 13.
“I think that was more of, we have run into so many left-handed starters,” Hyde said. “In Seattle it was three. There was a run there where I think we faced two or three left-handed starters in almost every series. So that was just circumstance that he wasn’t in there. But him and Sevie are both going to play a lot and when one’s not catching the other one has an opportunity to possibly DH. But they’re both going to play a lot the rest of the year.
“That was more of just kind of who we were facing.”
Sisco was 15-for-50 (.300) with four doubles and three home runs versus lefties at Triple-A Norfolk.
“I think he’ll get some at-bats against left-handed pitching for sure,” Hyde said. “It was more that I wanted Sevie in there and Noonie (Renato Núñez) to DH, and so Chance just sat those games.”
Hyde has gone in at least semi-platoon mode with a few players, but he’s also been flexible. Rio Ruiz is on the bench today against right-hander Zach Plesac after collecting three hits last night and driving in a run. Rule 5 pick Richie Martin was confined more to left-handers earlier in the season. Hanser Alberto has earned regular at-bats and roams the infield.
Keon Broxton is in center field after sitting last night.
“I think I’m still playing everybody. Everybody plays,” Hyde said. “I try to win the games. We try to match up the best we can pregame, but over the course of the next three months I’m still going to continue playing everybody.
“I think guys are getting a good look. For example, Chance is going to have at-bats against left-handed pitching, but I want Sevie to have those at-bats against left-handed pitching, also. There are a lot of guys I want to play and I feel like we’ve done a good job of mixing and matching and giving ourselves the best chance that night with also giving everybody a lot of at-bats.”
Plenty of major leaguers have extended their careers while carrying lopsided splits. Jobs are waiting for guys who rake against right-handers or left-handers.
“There’s a ton of value in that,” Hyde said.
For the Indians
Francisco Lindor SS
Oscar Mercado CF
Carlos Santana DH
Jason Kipnis 2B
Tyler Naquin RF
Bobby Bradley 1B
Jake Bauers LF
Kevin Plawecki C
Mike Freeman 3B
Zach Plesac RHP
Update II: The game will start at approximately 5:10 p.m. and Cashner is starting. So it was weather related.
Update III: Sisco was hit by a pitch in the second inning and scored on Alberto’s double for a 1-0 lead.
Update IV: Anthony Santander became the 100th player to hit a ball onto Eutaw St. and the 45th Oriole, increasing the lead to 2-0 in the fourth.
Update V: Mancini’s bases-loaded single with two outs in the fifth scored two more runs and upped the lead to 9-0.
Update VI: Sisco’s two-run homer in the sixth gave the Orioles an 11-0 lead.
Update VII: Núñez hit a two-run homer off infielder Mike Freeman in the seventh for a 13-0 lead and his second career multi-homer game.