The rotation, today’s starters and latest on Austin Hays

The Orioles are going to need a starter for Tuesday night’s game against the Braves. Manager Brandon Hyde already has eliminated the idea of rookie Keegan Akin working on short rest. One potential candidate eliminated.

Akin threw 39 pitches in two-thirds of an inning in the second game of Friday night’s doubleheader. Hyde won’t disrupt his rest and routine.

If the roster is unchanged from its current state, Hyde most likely is going to choose between Thomas Eshelman and Asher Wojciechowski as the spot starter.

Carson Fulmer isn’t built up to the point where he could offer much length, and the Orioles view him as a reliever. Unless they want to consider him as an opener of sorts.

Eshelman-Deals-Gray-at-Phila-Sidebar.jpgThe guess here is Eshelman, who started the first game of the Sept. 4 doubleheader against the Yankees and worked two innings Friday - also in the front end of a doubleheader against the Yankees.

Wojciechowski has been removed from the rotation and placed in a swingman role. His ERA climbed to 6.43 and his WHIP to 1.571 after he surrendered a pair of three-run homers to Luke Voit in the nightcap Friday.

“I thought he just made some bad pitches to Voit and a lot of effort fastballs in the middle of the plate,” Hyde said. “Just wasn’t a good night for him.”

Wojciechowski has made three appearances this month, two in relief, and allowed 10 runs and 14 hits in 8 2/3 innings. Opponents are 14-for-37 (.378) with two doubles and four home runs.

John Means starts today to close out the series and the road trip. His 2020 debut came against the Yankees on July 30 after he came off the injured list, and he allowed five runs in 2 1/3 innings. Voit hit a grand slam in the first.

Means has made six career appearances against the Yankees, including three starts, and posted a 9.39 ERA and 1.696 WHIP in 15 1/3 innings.

The Orioles will face another left-hander today in J.A. Happ, which likely keeps Chris Davis on the bench.

Happ’s first start also came on July 30 at Camden Yards, and he allowed four runs in four innings. Hanser Alberto and Rio Ruiz hit home runs.

Austin Hays took batting practice yesterday at Camden Yards while the Orioles prepared for their game at Yankee Stadium. He’s been searching for swings, with simulated games at the alternate camp site threatened by rain.

Hays is expected to come off the injured list next week. He’s aiming for early.

The Orioles are short an outfielder again after designating Mason Williams for assignment, though utility players Pat Valaika and Andrew Velazquez are capable fill-ins.

How do they make room for Hays? They could reverse Friday night’s move of subtracting an outfielder to create room for pitcher Alex Cobb. A reliever could be removed from the active roster.

They’re still carrying three catchers because Bryan Holaday is out of options.

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