With the Orioles adding right-handed reliever Oliver Drake to their roster today, manager Buck Showalter said one challenge for Drake in the past at the big league level has been the ability to pitch multiple innings.
“You’d like to have the people you bring up be able to pitch multiple innings,” Showalter said. “And when Ollie is taking 20 to 30 pitches to get through an inning, you can’t do that. And he has been much more efficient with that. That was a point of emphasis for him when he went down there. You’d like to have him (be able to) finish an inning and then pitch the next inning. You all have seen how important that is up here.
“Something that Mychal (Givens) has graduated from, even though he is still having his challenges against left-handed hitters. He’s getting better at it. That is kind of where Brad (Brach) made the next jump. I know how we agonize over a guy having X-number appearances and see a guy like (Sam) Dyson last night with 38. Sometimes I wonder if I saw it wrong. You need guys to be able to pitch an inning-plus.”
Drake has not pitched more than an inning in any appearance this year at Norfolk, where he went 0-1 with 10 saves and a 2.03 ERA. He has pitched 26 2/3 innings over 27 appearances. In 10 of those appearances, he threw 20 pitches or more.
Showalter also talked this afternoon about the latest solid outing for reliever Dylan Bundy. The right-hander pitched three scoreless innings last night at Texas, retiring all nine batters. He got help from center fielder Adam Jones on a great catch to end the last of the eighth.
Over his last three games - all coming on four or five days’ rest - Bundy has thrown 6 1/3 scoreless innings on three hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Opposing batters have hit .143 (3-for-21) against him.
“It is encouraging for me that when we get that four or five days where he doesn’t pitch, that next outing has been pretty good. Seems like it is,” Showalter said. “But when it’s an inning, two days off, an inning. I think this bodes well for the future.
“I’ve told you there are three things going on with him this year. I want to keep him healthy through the year and put that behind him. I want him to get to a certain number of innings and have some multiple-inning outings to set him (up) to be a potential guy (starting pitcher) for us next year, and who knows, maybe in September. If he hadn’t pitched last night, yeah, he would have been a candidate to start Wednesday, but it would have been a pretty short start.”
Tonight’s game: The Orioles return home tonight after their one-night visit to Texas. They host the San Diego Padres to start a two-game series and this is their first interleague game of the 2016 season.
Tonight’s game could be delayed at the start. As of 6:40 p.m., the tarp is still on the field at Camden Yards after some heavy afternoon rain. Neither starting pitcher has yet begun to warm up.
At 40-29, the Orioles have the second-best record in the American League and lead the AL East by one game over the Red Sox and by 2 1/2 games over the Blue Jays. At 29-42, San Diego is in last in the NL West, 15 games behind San Francisco.
Right-hander Tyler Wilson (3-5, 4.16 ERA) makes his 14th appearance and 11th start tonight. He pitches against right-hander Luis Perdomo (2-2, 8.79 ERA).
Wilson is coming off his best start of the year. On Thursday at Boston, he pitched eight scoreless on three hits against the Red Sox, throwing 100 pitches and picking up his first win since May 11. In his previous two starts, he had given up 10 runs in 9 2/3. Wilson is looking for his first win ever at Camden Yards. He is 0-4 with a 5.01 ERA at the ballpark this year. In 11 career games at OPACY, Wilson is 0-5 with a 4.12 ERA.
Perdomo, a 23-year-old from the Dominican Republic, is coming off a start where he gave up three runs over six innings against Miami. But over his past four games (two starts), he is 1-1 with an ERA of 9.00, allowing 28 hits and six homers over 18 innings.
Perdomo was a Rule 5 selection last December. He was taken by Colorado from St. Louis and then he was sent to San Diego for cash considerations. On the year over 42 innings, he has allowed 69 hits and a .369 batting average against. He has walked 21 and fanned 35. Before this season, Perdomo had not pitched above advanced Single-A ball.
Both pitchers have had some first-inning troubles in 2016. Perdomo has an ERA of 17.18 and average against of .550 in the opening inning. Wilson has an ERA of 6.30 and average against of .244 in the first frame.
San Diego played host to Washington before coming to Baltimore and split a four-game series, winning the last two games. The Padres are 1-3 this season versus the American League.
O’s second baseman Jonathan Schoop is batting fifth tonight for the first time in 2016. Schoop is 8-for-14 with two homers and four RBIs his last three games. In June, he’s batting .324 with a .577 slugging percentage and a .941 OPS.
IronBirds add three: The first three of what figure to be several 2016 Orioles draft picks have reported to short-season Single-A Aberdeen. The IronBirds today officially added infielders Chris Clare (round 21) and Collin Woody (round 38) and outfielder Austin Hays (round 3). Aberdeen has 31 players on its roster, but teams can carry as many as 35 in the New York-Penn League.
Update: The start of tonight’s game is officially delayed due to inclement weather.