By Dan Connolly
The Baltimore Sun
7:30 AM EDT, May 22, 2014
The Orioles return to Camden Yards today to begin a four-game series against the Cleveland Indians, who are coming off a three-game sweep of the American League Central-leading Detroit Tigers.
It’s hard to say which Orioles team is going to show up tonight, but the Indians struggle against left-handers, so the club hopes it can get another good outing from Wei-Yin Chen.
It’s expected that there will be another fresh pitcher in the bullpen tonight after Chris Tillman could only go one-plus inning Wednesday.
Right-hander Brad Brach was fantastic Wednesday, doubling the longest outing of his major league career with four scoreless innings in relief of Tillman. But since he won’t be able to pitch for a couple days, it’s possible that he gets sent down today for more relief help.
“I’d like to keep him if I can,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after Wednesday's game. “I think he’s thrown 48 [pitches in one outing] this year, and [Wednesday], he was [at 47]. I think it’s the innings more than the pitch count. I know if I asked him what he’d say.”
One potential call-up is left-hander T.J. McFarland, who is scheduled to start Friday for Triple-A Norfolk. The only problem with bringing up McFarland is that Showalter prefers having a right-handed long reliever to back up his left-handed starter.
Another option could be right-hander Evan Meek, who was optioned back to Norfolk from Baltimore on Saturday. He is not eligible to return to the majors for 10 days unless there is an injury and a major leaguer needs to be placed on the disabled list.
And that might happen.
Showalter said after Wednesday's game that one Orioles reliever is dealing with a medical issue that may require a DL stint. He wouldn’t say which one, but Brach, Ryan Webb and Brian Matusz all pitched Wednesday.
Left-hander Zach Britton, and right-handers Tommy Hunter and Darren O’Day all pitched Tuesday. The only reliever who didn't pitch in the past two days is Troy Patton, but he did warm up in the bullpen Wednesday.
Showalter said the club would decide today whether placing a pitcher on the DL would be an option.
“I don’t know,” he said. “We’re going to look at it [Thursday] and make sure we have some potential coverage.”
Given what the Orioles have done to keep their bullpen fresh so far this season, though, it’d be a surprise if there weren’t at least one move made today.
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