The Orioles have their rotation set through their four-game series against the Rangers and are going to figure out later how to insert a fifth starter.
The team is off again Monday, which gives manager Brandon Hyde some maneuverability. He’s staying with John Means, Dylan Bundy, Aaron Brooks and Asher Wojciechowski, and can decide between Gabriel Ynoa and left-hander Ty Blach for the fifth spot.
Blach allowed two runs and two hits in five innings Tuesday against the Rays and Ynoa followed by holding them to two runs over 6 1/3 innings.
Hyde said the Orioles haven’t discussed the idea of using six starters.
“I think that when that fifth spot comes up, we’ll probably match up who we feel like is, whether we want the left-hander or the right-hander, or possibly how I use both of those guys out of the bullpen,” Hyde said.
“We have so many guys in our bullpen right now that we can do a lot of things, but when we need a starter we’ll probably decide if we want a left-hander or a right-hander.”
Hyde indicated that he isn’t expecting more call-ups this month. However, reliever Tayler Scott is eligible to return Sunday after the 10-day minimum passes for players to stay down after an option. He’s a possibility.
“I’m not sure what his situation is right now,” Hyde said, “but I would assume this is probably it.”
The Orioles don’t want a repeat of last year when they ran out of healthy pitchers and had to summon Means, who was sitting on his couch at home following Norfolk’s season.
“That’s why we called everybody here,” Hyde said. “We were hoping that we wouldn’t have to get somebody off the couch to come fill a couple innings for us.”
No one from Double-A Bowie is coming to Baltimore following the Eastern League playoffs.
Mark Trumbo made his season debut Monday against the Rays, hitting a two-run double, and came off the bench Tuesday in Game 1 to deliver an RBI double. He’s in the lineup tonight after yesterday’s off-day.
“He’s hit a couple balls hard, taken some pro ABs for us,” Hyde said. “Love seeing Mark in uniform with cleats on. We welcome him back with open arms. It’s great to write his name in the lineup. Again, we’re going to pick our spots with him, but it’s fun watching him and nice seeing him out there.”
There are a few factors dictating how Hyde is going to use Trumbo, including the need to reduce the stress on the veteran’s surgically repaired right knee.
“It’s mainly his health,” Hyde said. “Not going to push him, play him every day. Give him a breather with his legs. But the days he’s not starting, he’ll be able to pinch-hit like he did the other day and got a big hit for us.
“And we want to see other players, too, so a little bit of both.”
The bullpen leads the majors with a 2.25 ERA since Aug. 20, allowing 11 earned runs in 44 innings. It’s one of the more startling reversals of the season.
“I think some guys in the bullpen are throwing the ball better,” Hyde said. “I think Miguel Castro is on a nice run, pitching in some high-leverage spots. (Mychal) Givens is obviously throwing the ball well. I think adding Hunter Harvey kind of lengthens out your bullpen a little bit and gives you a guy that you feel good about throwing in the latter part of the game.”
Triple-A Norfolk manager Gary Kendall has joined the Orioles as a guest coach and is staying with the team through Sept. 16.
For the Rangers
Shin-Soo Choo RF
Elvis Andrus SS
Willie Calhoun LF
Nick Solak DH
Rougned Odor 2B
Logan Forsythe 1B
Isiah Kiner-Falefa 3B
Delino DeShields CF
Jose Trevino C
Kolby Allard LHP
Update: Renato Núñez’s sacrifice fly in the sixth inning gave the Orioles a 1-0 lead.
Update II: Nick Solak hit a two-run homer off Means in the seventh.