Stewart will join Triple-A Norfolk in Pawtucket and play in two games before coming back to the Orioles on Friday in Boston, where a roster move will be made.
The latest move for a club that’s in a constant state of change.
The bullpen has been impacted the most, with Chandler Shepherd the latest pitcher to settle into the group.
The Orioles have used 35 pitchers this year, with Ty Blach the latest newcomer as last night’s Game 2 starter. Shepherd is waiting to make his major league debut.
“He’s made a couple nice appearances the last couple of times,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “Following yesterday we need to add a pitcher for some length today and get a fresh arm in here. So that’s Shepherd and we’ll see if he gets in a game.”
Hyde would love to have a more stable bullpen, but the game is evolving to where relievers come and go as their usage changes.
“I think it’s the nature of the game,” Hyde said. “When I look around, these guys (Yankees) have had a lot of transactions also. And a first-place club. It’s the way pitching is right now and I just think it’s part of Major League Baseball is shuffling your bullpen and getting fresh arms because starters aren’t going as long as they used to and you need help.”
How valuable would a starter be who can go seven or eight innings?
“I’ll take five of them,” Hyde said.
“I think bullpens get beat up. There’s no doubt about it. You see the inconsistency of guys year to year for the amount of usage and the different type of usage that bullpen guys are dealing with. People are using their bullpens differently. Balls are flying out of the ballpark. I don’t know the specifics on the innings and all that kind of stuff, but obviously the game has changed a lot on how the bullpens are being used.”
Orioles relievers have a collective 6.31 ERA and 1.576 WHIP in 484 2/3 innings.
“We’ve had a tough time obviously in our bullpen,” Hyde said. “To find lockdown guys like Adam Ottavino and these guys - Zack Britton and Aroldis Chapman - is really, really hard to do. Give these guys a ton of credit for doing it year in and year out because it’s not like that everywhere.
“You see one guy one year a certain way and the next year he’s not the same, so it’s very unpredictable.”
Evan Phillips was optioned again last night with his ERA at 8.84 and WHIP at 2.224 in 19 1/3 innings. His second pitch to Gleyber Torres last night was demolished.
“Talking to him last night after the game, it’s all about fastball command, being able to repeat a slider,” Hyde said.
“With Gleyber, 0-0 and threw a really nice slider that he just taps. And instead of rushing one up or putting one in off the plate or locating a fastball off the plate, he tries to throw a better slider on the second pitch and hang it on the middle part of the plate. So not trying to do too much with your pitches and allow your pitches to work. And that’s what he does. He overcooks things all the time. That’s why you see yanked misses.
“(Jimmy) Yacabonis, too. Yanked misses, fastballs that are missing off the plate because they’re just trying to do too much with it instead of locating the ball.”
The same message is delivered every time a reliever is sent down. It just needs to take hold.
“That’s pretty much been the issue,” Hyde said.
“I thought Yac was really good yesterday. I told him that. For me, his line, his direction, his composure, the balance and the delivery, it was all way more in tune than it was the last time we saw him where he was landing, spinning off the ball and yanking his slider and yanking his fastball. But be able to drive that straight line to the plate and be able to repeat your delivery. We have a long way to go with that.”
Hyde doesn’t know how his rotation will line up now that he has six starters.
“Right now, we’re in wait-and-see mode a little bit. We’re going to discuss,” Hyde said.
“We have some options that might depend on who we’re facing, depending on who’s going to start. Right now, you can pencil in (John) Means, (Dylan) Bundy, Wojo (Asher Wojciechowski), Brooksie (Aaron Brooks), and then with Gabby (Gabriel Ynoa) and Ty, we haven’t quite discussed what we’re doing with that yet. Not ready to announce anything with that.”
Update: DJ LeMahieu homered on Means’ first pitch.
Update II: The first four Yankees reached in the second inning and Cameron Maybin’s two-run single increased the lead to 3-0.
Update III: Anthony Santander led off the fourth inning with his 11th home run to cut the lead to 3-1.
Update IV: The Yankees scored four runs in the fourth, three charged to Means and the other to Miguel Castro. Aaron Judge had a two-run double.
Stevie Wilkerson homered in the fifth to reduce the lead to 7-2.
Update V: Mike Tauchman’s RBI double off Shepherd, making his major league debut, gave New York an 8-2 lead in the fifth.