Orioles spot starter still a secret

The Orioles are going to need a spot starter for Saturday night at Camden Yards, the pitcher’s identity withheld as they finish their series today in Seattle and board a flight home.

Optioning left-hander Bruce Zimmermann has created an opening and the Orioles decided again to move it up, as they did after removing Dean Kremer from the roster.

“Right now it’s our friend TBA,” manager Brandon Hyde said in today’s Zoom call.

This could indicate a bullpen game, the course chosen after Kremer left, or a promotion from Triple-A Norfolk. Conner Greene started last night for the Tides and left-hander Josh Rogers allowed seven runs in four innings this afternoon. Spenser Watkins starts Thursday.

Left-hander Keegan Akin is supposed to take the mound Friday night after throwing a bullpen session earlier today. Left-hander Zac Lowther is waiting to debut because he’s on the Orioles taxi squad.

Asked about the possibility of inserting a pitcher from Norfolk, Hyde remained coy with his plans and said, “I’m really hoping TBA can make that start. If TBA can’t make that start, then we’ll have to figure out like a bullpen type of situation.”

Using a spot starter Saturday against the Red Sox rather than Tuesday versus the Mets at Citi Field provides extra rest for Kremer and Jorge López.

Wade LeBlanc can’t repeat his start, which came as Kremer’s replacement, because the Orioles designated him for assignment after the game and the Brewers signed him to a minor league contract.

Hyde could choose Adam Plutko, who has starting experience with the Indians and is carrying a 1.00 ERA and 0.944 WHIP in 18 relief innings.

López failed again last night to complete five innings, falling short for the fifth time in six starts. He allowed one run and three hits in 4 2/3 in a 5-2 loss to the Mariners.

Thumbnail image for Lopez-Throws-White-Sidebar.jpgHyde isn’t ready to relocate López to the bullpen.

“I watched a replay of the game this morning and really good through four innings,” Hyde said. “It’s 96-97 (mph), sinks, got the hook, throwing a changeup. Made one mistake to (Kyle) Seager. And in the fifth inning I thought the misses were just barely misses. I thought he could have gotten a couple calls there that would have potentially changed the inning, also.

“I’m not ready to give up on him. I really like this guy’s arm. He’s been a starter almost his entire career. I’d just like to push him a little bit. I’d like to make it easy on him one time and give him a lead and let him kind of go, but I’m not ready to give up on a starting spot yet.”

Shortstop Freddy Galvis is out of the lineup after playing in four consecutive games following his recovery from a sore left adductor/groin. He’s gone 4-for-13 with a home run.

“A day off before an off-day,” Hyde said. “Gets a couple days to rest up a little bit.”

Hyde began his media session by offering condolences to the family of former Orioles pitching coach and manager Ray Miller, who died yesterday at age 76.

“An Orioles Hall of Famer, a great man in the baseball community,” Hyde said.

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