Brooks is tabbed to serve as the opener Saturday in Game 1 of the doubleheader against the Rays at Camden Yards. Gabriel Ynoa could back him up, with Brooks needing to be stretched out before he can be viewed as a starter.
“He hasn’t thrown in a while and hasn’t started in a while,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “We see him possibly joining the rotation at some point. Kind of see how it goes.
“We want to get him stretched out and it’s going to take a little while before that happens because he hasn’t pitched.”
Brooks made six starts with the Athletics in April before moving to the bullpen for his next nine appearances. His last start came April 30 against the Red Sox at Fenway Park, where he allowed four earned runs and five total in 4 1/3 innings to raise his ERA to 5.74.
In his first relief appearance, Brooks threw 91 pitches over four innings on May 11 against the Indians. He didn’t work more than three innings or throw more than 56 pitches in his last eight games, the highs coming in Game 1 of a June 8 doubleheader.
Brooks hasn’t pitched since June 30 in Anaheim, where he allowed a run in two innings.
David Hess has joined the club and is on the taxi squad in anticipation of being used Saturday as the 26th man. Hyde referred to it as “probable.”
The rotation depth seems to be getting better with Brooks, Wojciechowski and Tom Eshelman, the latter at Triple-A Norfolk, coming into the organization.
“I think Mike (Elias) is going to continue to try to bring in talent and bring in guys and bring in guys who have opportunities to start,” Hyde said. “Obviously we’re going to see what we have. Aaron Brooks is a guy who’s been stretched out. We saw him early in the year, he made a really nice start against us here, so we’re going to continue to give guys opportunities to build the talent level in this organization.
“I think there are going to be a lot of opportunities for starts over the last 70-plus games.”
A flurry of minor league roster moves yesterday included center fielder Cedric Mullins moving down to Double-A Bowie after batting .205/.272/.306 in 66 games with Norfolk and going 6-for-64 with the Orioles.
“I just think he needs to get on track somehow,” Hyde said. “I think that guys sometimes have tough years and obviously we still feel really highly about Cedric and his ability and now it’s trying to put him in position to ... I know he struggled in Triple-A and you want to see him have success and there have been a lot of instances where guys go down multiple levels and in a year or two they’re much, much better players and that’s just part of the development process a little bit at times.
“Unfortunately sometimes it’s hard to do, but Roy Halladay went down to high A at one point in his career, so sometimes you just have to reset. And what’s the best place for him to reset right now we feel like is going back down to Double-A and try to get some positive mojo working and have some success.”