The Orioles are changing cities and their roster.
Dwight Smith Jr. is expected to come off the concussion injured list after playing two games with Triple-A Norfolk and hitting a home run last night, though manager Brandon Hyde left open the possibility on MASN that it could happen Friday. The Orioles must decide whether to option Anthony Santander or Stevie Wilkerson, the latter capable of backing up in center field as well as the infield positions, if Trey Mancini avoids the injured list.
Mancini took a pitch off his left elbow yesterday and came out of the game in the top of the first inning, but the Orioles announced that he had a contusion. X-rays came back negative and it’s a day-to-day situation while the swelling goes down.
The Orioles and Mancini really caught a break with no broken bones.
Putting Mancini on the IL would have made the corresponding move easier, but nobody wants to see him sidelined.
Wilkerson was in right yesterday and Santander in left. One is more versatile, one is more of a prospect.
Josh Rogers threw 53 pitches yesterday in three innings while following opener Jimmy Yacabonis and won’t be available for a few days. Dan Straily threw 55 on Tuesday and won’t be available for a few days.
Will he still be on the pitching staff later this week?
Straily is one of the nicest guys in baseball, a true professional with a pleasant personality, and he appeared to serve a purpose. Put a veteran who’s had past success in the rotation in order to lessen the burden on other starters and make it easier to slow-play a prospect down below. And if he’s good, he becomes a trade chip and can contribute to the rebuild on his way out the door.
Waiting until April 5 to sign a pitcher isn’t the ideal course of action, but otherwise, it’s easy to understand the intent behind it.
The results have been disastrous.
Straily surrendered three more home runs Tuesday in 2 1/3 innings in a 16-2 loss to the Athletics, raising his season total to 22 in only 47 2/3 innings. He leads the club and is tied with Seattle’s Mike Leake for first in the majors.
The dust settled with Straily holding a 9.82 ERA and 1.993 WHIP, and this is after he retired the side in order with two strikeouts in the eighth. He’s allowing 13.8 hits and 4.2 home runs and walking 4.2 batters per nine innings.
Since tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings against the Blue Jays on June 12, Straily has allowed 13 runs and 12 hits with 7 home runs in 3 2/3 innings.
Asked yesterday whether he wondered about his roster spot, Straily replied, “That stuff, you can’t control that. We’re just working and we all want to be here. Those things, they take care of themselves. If we’re not getting the job done, they’re going to try find someone that is.
“This has been the most trying season of my career, especially mentally. Just trying to wrap my head around what’s going on. A lot of it just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s very confusing.”
Hyde had little choice Tuesday except to stick with Straily, who let two inherited runners score and was charged with six after replacing Paul Fry. A position player was next. Chris Davis probably would have been the chosen one again.
“Got to be able to get people out in the big leagues,” Hyde said in his postgame media scrum. “Paid to get people out. We have nights we do and nights we don’t.”
Way too many don’t situations evolving this season.
The Orioles don’t have a lot of options or they’d exercise them. They selected Sean Gilmartin’s contract on Monday. The pitching depth is thin, which the newcomers to the organization have discovered.
Note: Austin Hays came out of last night’s game with Norfolk after one at-bat. I’m told it was done as a “precaution.”
Hays appeared to tweak his hamstring.