The Orioles rotation remains very much in flux with 15 games remaining. The Orioles don’t know for sure if or when Alex Cobb and/or Andrew Cashner will start again, and Luis Ortiz left last night’s game with an injury. Right-hander David Hess will re-enter the rotation for tomorrow’s start, and Yefry Ramírez pitches tonight, but it’s rather up in the air after that.
Manager Buck Showalter said “potentially” when asked if the Orioles have enough pitchers on the roster right now to make the remaining starts. He also said they could still add a pitcher for one or more starts and confirmed that left-hander John Means is a candidate for that.
“I hate to say that cliché, but it’s a game at a time. See how Yefry does tonight and how we have to use the ‘pen. We have put some things in motion that would cover us if there is an issue there with Sarasota,” Showalter said.
When asked if he would consider using a so-called “opener” Showalter said, “We already have. We are already there, aren’t we? Depending on how you want to define it.”
Cashner, who allowed eight runs in two-plus innings versus Oakland on Thursday, did not throw a planned bullpen session today and may not make his next start on Monday. Casher received a cortisone injection in his left knee Friday. He underwent an MRI and was diagnosed with patellar tendon bursitis, which has bothered him for the past two to three weeks.
Cobb is dealing with a cut/blister on his right hand, and his next start might not come before next weekend at New York.
“Little better,” Showalter said today of Cobb. “That is going to be pretty slow play. I know he talked about playing catch tomorrow. We’ll see.”
Ortiz left his first major league start last night after allowing threee runs (one earned) in 1 2/3 innings against the White Sox with a left hamstring issue.
“Pretty sore today,” the skipper said of Ortiz. “I’m not sure what the next step is. Whether he’ll get an MRI here. Whether he might go to Sarasota. Haven’t heard anything. He’s OK (innings-wise). He’s in good shape. He actually needed to pitch some.”
Means could still be added to the O’s roster and make a start or two before the season ends. Between Double-A and Triple-A this year, he went 7-9 with a 3.72 ERA. The Orioles’ 11th round pick in 2014, Means pitched to a 3.48 ERA in 20 games at Norfolk.
“Yeah, John is (a possibility),” Showalter said. “He is eligible to be on the roster. He presented himself pretty well in Triple-A. He’s an option, especially when you look at the guys you may want to protect (from the Rule 5 draft on the 40-man roster this winter) anyway. Dan (Duquette) has always been able to find room on the roster somehow.
“With our schedule coming up with the pitching, especially after that off-day (Thursday) it’s really going to be a challenge. I don’t think the off-day is going to get us back on our feet enough. So we may add somebody.”
Steve Wilkerson is still expected to be activted off the disabled list on Tuesday or Wednesday.