Orioles add Abad and Wade to bullpen, plus lineups (updated)

The expected bullpen changes came today, with the Orioles designating Adam Plutko for assignment and optioning Dusten Knight to Triple-A Norfolk.

In their place, the Orioles selected the contracts of Konner Wade and veteran left-hander Fernando Abad from Norfolk. They made room on the 40-man roster by transferring left-hander Bruce Zimmermann to the 60-day injured list.

Plutko allowed home runs in a club-record six relief appearances in a row. He posted a 6.71 ERA and 1.633 WHIP in 38 appearances with 17 home runs in 56 1/3 innings.

The Orioles purchased Plutko’s contract from the Indians on March 27 and he allowed two runs in 15 innings in April, with opponents slashing .212/.263/.288.

“He just kind of lost command of his cutter,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “I thought early on in the year in April, he pitched in some big innings for us and got a lot of huge outs for us there that first month, month and a half. His command was really good, he wasn’t walking guys. Now, as of late, he’s kind of spreading it around a little bit, walking the leadoff hitter, extending innings and kind of leading to homers or leading to big innings.

“Sad to see Adam go. He’s a great guy. I hope he gets an opportunity and can hopefully get back to that early start that he had with us because he was really, really good for us. But he had his struggles as of late.”

Knight never got the chance to perform a backflip after a save. He made five appearances and surrendered six earned runs (seven total) and eight hits with four walks and nine strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.

Wade-Throws-Black-Sidebar.jpgWade returns after allowing six runs and seven hits in 1 2/3 innings in his major league debut on June 26 against the Blue Jays. He has a 3.03 ERA and 1.059 WHIP in 62 1/3 innings with the Tides and can provide length.

The Orioles signed Abad, 35, to a minor league contract on Dec. 21. He can become the 53rd player used in 2021.

Abad, pitching for his seventh team, is back in the majors for the first time since 2019 with the Giants. He’s 2-1 with a 4.26 ERA and 1.421 WHIP in 26 games with Norfolk and has walked six batters and struck out 27 in 25 1/3 innings.

He’s wearing No. 58.

Zimmermann was expected to leave the injured list and start today against the Red Sox, but an ankle sprain nixed those plans. He’s been on the IL since June 18 with left biceps tendinitis, so his transfer to the 60-day won’t necessarily have a major impact on his return date.

The ankle could, however.

“He’s getting further tests going with the ankle,” Hyde said. “The 60-day IL, it’s already been 60, so we can recall him at any time. I think we’re hoping that there’s a chance he pitches before the season’s over, but we’re not sure. We just have to see how the ankle recovers and what the doctors say about it. But it is an ankle sprain, he did it doing some conditioning work in the weight room there in Norfolk and we’re hoping he can bounce back from it.”

The Orioles close out their series in Boston trying to end a 10-game losing streak, when they’ve allowed 98 runs.

Left-hander Keegan Akin makes his 10th start and 17th appearance. He has a 9.57 ERA and 2.045 WHIP in 36 2/3 innings out of the rotation.

Akin’s only appearance against the Red Sox came in a Sept. 22, 2020 start at Fenway Park, where he allowed four runs (two earned) and eight hits with no walks and six strikeouts in four innings.

Cedric Mullins is back in center field and trying to extend a 20-game hitting streak. Ramón Urías returns to the lineup and is batting fifth.

Urías has been in and out of the lineup with discomfort in his upper right leg and groin.

“I think it’s something we’re going to be managing for a while,” Hyde said. “It feels better today. He’s going to be day-to-day, I think. We’re hoping that it will go away but it’s that time of the year. It’s mid-August, these things kind of linger and a lot of players are dealing with that right now. That’s the baseball season, you have things that linger around. When you play every day, it’s hard to fully recover. So he got a couple days off, he feels better this morning. He actually started to feel better yesterday. Took some ground balls, took batting practice. Today he feels even better than yesterday, so he’s fine today and hopefully he’ll wake up feeling good tomorrow.”

Jorge Mateo is the shortstop, Austin Hays is in right field and Ryan McKenna is in left.

Former Orioles farmhand Eduardo Rodriguez has made 22 starts this season and posted a 5.24 ERA and 1.382 WHIP. He’s averaging 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings.

His 2021 debut was April 8 against the Orioles, when he allowed three runs with no walks and seven strikeouts in five innings. Ryan Mountcastle and Pedro Severino hit their first home runs. Rodriguez faced the Orioles again on May 7, again in Baltimore, and held them to one run with seven hits in five innings.

Rodriguez is 11-5 with a 3.28 ERA and 1.136 WHIP in 21 career games against the Orioles. Trey Mancini is 11-for-36 (.306) with three doubles, two home runs and 12 strikeouts. Severino is 5-for-13 (.385) with a double and home run.

In their last eight games, Red Sox starters have allowed 13 earned runs over 43 innings for a 2.72 ERA with 55 strikeouts and only eight walks. The offense has produced eight or more runs in four of the last six games.

Bobby Dalbec has 11 RBIs in his last three games. He’s 11-for-22 with 12 RBIs in his last eight games.

Xander Bogaerts is 10-for-31 (.355) in his last eight games with two doubles, two home runs, seven RBIs and nine runs scored.

Rafael Devers has six home runs and 18 RBIs against the Orioles in 11 games this season.

The Orioles are starting Matt Harvey, John Means, Spenser Watkins and Jorge López in the four-game series at Tropicana Field that begins Monday. The Rays are listing their starters as TBD, Drew Rasmussen, Shane McClanahan and TBD.

For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Austin Hays RF
Trey Mancini 1B
Anthony Santander DH
Ramón Urías 2B
Pedro Severino C
Ryan McKenna LF
Maikel Franco 3B
Jorge Mateo SS

Keegan Akin LHP

For the Red Sox
Kiké Hernández 2B
Hunter Renfroe RF
Xander Bogaerts SS
Rafael Devers 3B
J.D. Martinez LF
Kyle Schwarber DH
Bobby Dalbec 1B
Alex Verdugo CF
Christian Vázquez C

Eduardo Rodriguez LHP

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