OAKLAND - The latest new member in the Orioles bullpen, left-hander Sean Gilmartin, joined the team today. He’s thrown well at Triple-A Norfolk with a 2.48 ERA and a 9 1/3 consecutive innings scoreless run.
“It’s nice to have somebody with experience here,” manager Brandon Hyde said of the 29-year-old Gilmartin, who has pitched in 78 career games with the Mets and Orioles. “Sean has thrown the ball really well in Norfolk. The way our games have played out, we just need someone to cover some innings. We just threw a bunch of guys back-to-back the last two days and probably have a bunch of guys unavailable today.”
Gilmartin had to be added to the 40-man roster, which was full and to get him on, outfielder Joey Rickard was designated for assignment. Rickard has hit .245/.299/.372 for the Orioles since the 2016 season after they selected him in the 2015 Rule 5 draft from Tampa Bay.
“We hope that he clears (waivers). I like Joey a lot. That is part of the game and it stinks. Yeah, I hope he stays in the organization or whatever works out best for him. A great guy and hoping for the best,” said Hyde.
The Orioles’ Dwight Smith Jr., out since June 7 and on the seven-day concussion injured list, is going to play this week for Triple-A Norfolk. With both Double-A Bowie and Norfolk off tonight, he’ll play Tuesday and Wednesday for the Tides at Scranton.
“He cleared everything (in concussion protocol),” said Hyde “So he’s ready to go play and hopefully meet us either here or Seattle after that. DJ (Stewart) stayed back. Still doing his rehab from the ankle. Shouldn’t be much longer and he’ll go a (minor league) assignment also.”
Hyde also said while it still looks like he’ll use an opener for the Wednesday afternoon game at Oakland, he won’t have complete clarity on that until he gets through at least tonight’s game and maybe need to get through the next two nights.
Hyde also confirmed today that right-hander David Hess, optioned out yesterday after the game to the minors, will pitch in a bullpen role at Norfolk.
There were several media outlets today - print and broadcast - that found their way to the Orioles dugout for Hyde’s pregame media session. It’s a homecoming this week here for Hyde, who grew up north of Oakland in Santa Rosa, California. Area reporters wanted to interview a local guy that is now a major league manager.
Hyde has been in the Oakland Coliseum often and also attended San Francisco Giants games as a kid.
“I used to come to the Stick (Candlestick Park) and here and sit in the upper reserve and watch (José) Canseco and (Mark) McGwire and the guys as a kid. I love coming back to the Bay area and I love coming back to northern California. I was a huge Giants fan to be honest. Huge Will Clark, Matt Williams, Kevin Mitchell (fan). I loved those Giants and also followed Oakland because they were so good late 80s, early 90s. I remember coming here early to mid 80s and watching Rickey Henderson and having his poster up on my wall. Lot of fond memories of Bay area baseball.
“I grew up an hour north of here and I have a lot of friends and family and people I care about a lot (coming to these games). This will always be home for me.”
Meanwhile Hyde said he believes the team morale remains strong, even with five losses in a row, nine in 11 games and with a record of 21-50.
“That is one thing where I feel so good about our guys. I feel we have a high-character group that really turns the page well. Almost feel after every one of our tough, late close losses, we’ve always played well the next day. We’ve done that quite a bit. I was really happy with how we played the game yesterday and that is what I’m focusing on,” he said.
The Orioles announced the signings of four more selections from the 2019 First-Year Player Draft. They are all right-handed pitchers in Connor Gillispie (9), Kade Strowd (12), Jensen Elliott (19) and Jake Lyons (22). Overall, the Orioles have signed 24 selections from the 2019 Draft.
O’s lead early: The A’s hit four balls 100 mph or more in the first off Andrew Cashner and took a 1-0 lead on Matt Olson’s RBI double. The O’s used small ball and the bunting game to take a 2-1 lead in the second. Pedro Severino singled and scored all the way from first on a throwing error by third baseman Matt Chapman. Chapman fielded a Rio Ruiz bunt and threw wildly past first as Ruiz reached third and Severino scored. Then the O’s took a 2-1 lead when Hanser Alberto’s sac bunt plated Ruiz.
Not now they don’t: Oakland used two unearned runs to lead 3-2 in the last of the third. With bases loaded and no outs, Olson grounded to third. The throw home got one out on a force, but catcher Chance Sisco bounced his throw to first base and it got past Chris Davis and two runs scored for the 3-2 lead. The second runner was initially ruled out at home but it was overturned on replay.