ARLINGTON, Texas - Pitcher Jeremy Hellickson’s entry into the clubhouse with his new team will have to wait a couple of days. On his way to the airport to fly to Texas, Hellickson and his girlfriend were in a car accident that briefly sent her to the hospital.
“I think Jeremy is OK, but his girlfriend had to go to the emergency room,” manager Buck Showalter said before tonight’s game. “I know Roger (McDowell) has talked to him a couple of times. If everything stays...if she gets cleared, they’ll be in Baltimore tomorrow. No reason to come here (to Texas) now. We’ve got a catcher set up tomorrow in Baltimore.”
Showalter expects Hellickson to have a bullpen session at Camden Yards on Sunday. He was scheduled to pitch on an extra day’s rest Friday night but was scratched from that start, and then his trade to the Orioles was announced after the game.
Showalter is not ready to announce when he expects Hellickson to make his Orioles debut and also if a current member of the rotation is getting yanked from the starting five. He did say the team will stay with the plan to start Dylan Bundy on Tuesday against Kansas City.
“We’re going to let everything clear a little bit, especially with as hectic as these next two days will be, until we get our arms around him physically. I know he was working on one extra day’s rest, hadn’t pitched since the 22nd. We’ve got a tentative idea but until we know how he’s feeling, how everything else is (we’ll wait).”
When asked if the Orioles could use a six-man rotation, Showalter said, “All things are on the table until we find out where he is physically. In talking to Chris (Tillman) some today, Chris had some pretty good all-body cramping going on last night. He went through periods where he was OK, but I think it bothered him most of his outing. Probably had something to do with the command of his pitches,” he said of Tillman, who allowed eight runs over 4 1/3 innings last night.
Later during his pregame media session a reporter asked Showalter if his preference is to remain with a five-man rotation when Hellickson is added.
“You are trying to figure out the right way to ask these questions to get me to commit to something, but I’m not going to,” he said. “Until Jeremy gets here and we kind of see how the trade deadline and everything works out, it makes no sense to talk about it and try to project this. I’ll let you guys speculate. Everybody has to do that this time of year because that’s what the fans want. But I can’t speculate about something I don’t know about until the smoke clears tomorrow, actually Monday. I’ll have a better idea, especially when we know where Jeremy is from the car accident today.”
Showalter said it was hard to say goodbye to Hyun Soo Kim, and that with the news coming after the game it came under somewhat awkward circumstances.
“Yeah, it was. And I didn’t really like the way it happened. I’d like to spend a lot of time with him, but by the time I got word of it I had to pull him off the bus (heading back to the hotel). Which I didn’t like. But spent some time with him. He’s going to a place where he is going to get a chance to play. And re-establish himself a little bit about the level that he’s capable of.
“It’s tough. You remember where we were last spring when he first came into this country. He had some really nice things to say. And I to him. He’s a good teammate. I wish we could have presented it in a way for him to say goodbye to his teammates. I know they would have liked to (have that chance).”
Showalter provided his reaction when told Orioles players Chris Davis and Tillman said today they liked the additon of Hellickson and that the team was not punting yet on this season.
“I think regardless of what happens with player acquisitons, that should always be the case. I appreciate the fact they feel that way. That’s another positive that could come out of it. See what the next few days bring.”
So are the Orioles going to make more trades?
“I didn’t really know this deal was done until after the game,” Showalter said. I heard they were talking about it. I hope, from my standpoint, we are all wanting to compete and win and I’m sure so is Dan. And I know our owner is.”