In an interview this afternoon, executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said the Orioles are considering two left-handers currently in the organization to possibly soon join the team.
“Wandy Rodriguez is a veteran pitcher and we have to make a decision on him in the next week,” Duquette said on 105.7 the Fan. “We’ve always liked him, he has a good curve. We’ll see if there is an opportunity to fit him in. If we don’t do something soon, I’m sure he’ll be interested in finding another opportunity if we can’t use him here.
“And then we have a left-handed pitcher at Triple-A, Andy Oliver. If we don’t give an opportunity here, he is going to be looking for an opportunity with another team. So there are a couple of lefties in the system we are currently considering for our major league team in Oliver and Wandy Rodriguez.”
The Orioles signed Rodriguez in late April and he has been pitching at extended spring training. Rodriguez, 37, is 97-98 with a 4.10 ERA in 11 major league seasons with the Astros, Pirates and Rangers. He made 15 starts among his 17 appearances with Texas last summer, going 6-4 with a 4.90 ERA. Oliver is 0-0 with an ERA of 2.08 over 13 games and four starts for Triple-A Norfolk.
As for today’s game, right-hander Kevin Gausman (0-3, 3.78 ERA) pitches for the Orioles against 35-year-old Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia (3-4, 2.85 ERA).
Sabathia, it seems, turned around his season on May 4 when he pitched seven scoreless innings on 99 pitches against the Orioles. He entered that start with an ERA of 5.06. But in four May starts wrapped around a trip to the disabled list, he is 2-2 with a 1.04 ERA. He was on the DL from May 5-20 with a left groin strain.
In 17 starts since last Aug. 6, Sabathia is 5-6 with a 2.86 ERA and has allowed two or fewer earned runs 11 times. He has the longest current streak of consecutive road quality starts at eight straight, which dates to Aug. 12. In those games, he is 4-3 with a 2.17 ERA.
Left-handed batters are hitting just .208 against him and right-handed batters are hitting .237 versus Sabathia. In 34 career starts against Baltimore, he is 19-7 with a 3.35 ERA.
Gausman is making his ninth start today. His ERA was 2.70 through six starts, but he is 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA over his past two outings. Gausman has allowed six homers in the last two starts, including two leadoff homers to start games and five homers over the first two innings in those games.
That has inflated his first-inning ERA to 5.63 and to 6.75 in the second innings of his nine starts. Lefty batters hit .162 off him, while right-handers bat .278. He gives up an average of just .167 pitching with runners in scoring position.
Gausman’s only scoreless start of this season was on May 5 versus New York. He pitched eight innings of three-hit ball on 98 pitches. In 12 career games (six starts) against the Yankees for his career, he is 3-2 with an ERA of 2.31.
The Orioles begin play this afternoon at 31-23 and are one game back of Boston for the American League East lead.