The Orioles have made another bullpen move heading into tonight’s series opener against the Blue Jays at Camden Yards.
Manager Brandon Hyde told the media yesterday in his Zoom conference call that Tate was facing hitters and nearing a return.
“Couple days ago, threw an inning-plus down there,” Hyde said, “so he’s getting close.”
A little closer than we realized.
Tate was excluded from the opening day roster after being hit on the right forearm by a Pat Valaika comebacker in a July 10 intrasquad game. He had swelling in the elbow that sidelined him for an extended period.
Rio Ruiz homered off Tate to lead off the inning, Valaika stepped to the plate and Tate’s summer took a nasty turn.
Acquired from the Yankees in the 2018 Zack Britton trade, Tate appeared in 16 games last season as a rookie and allowed 15 runs in 21 innings. He walked nine batters, struck out 20 and hit five.
Tate, 26, was a starter earlier in his career before transitioning into a relief role. The Rangers made him the fourth overall pick in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft.
Phillips let an inherited runner score yesterday after replacing Jorge López and six of nine batters reached against him. He walked four batters, hit one and threw a wild pitch.
Phillips tossed a scoreless inning in his previous outing against the Phillies, but he allowed two hits. He wasn’t charged with a run in his last four appearances and lowered his ERA from 9.64 to 5.87. However, he’s walked seven batters in 7 2/3 innings this season.
The Orioles didn’t expect Phillips to be on the opening day roster after he sustained an elbow injury in March, but he recovered and began a throwing program during the shutdown and broke camp with the team.