Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who was sent to Triple-A Norfolk Aug. 9 to make room for starter Ubaldo Jimenez, can return to the majors Tuesday and is probably the favorite to start Wednesday. However, Showalter said that decision has not been made.
“We’ve got three options. We can bring back Miguel and pitch him out of the bullpen, bring him back starting or leave him (in the minors),” Showalter said. “Those are the three things we have to decide.”
Gonzalez, who is 6-6 with a 3.80 ERA in 20 games (19 starts) for the Orioles, was transferred from Triple-A Norfolk to Double-A Bowie Friday, but that is considered procedural.
“He’s not going to pitch there yet,” Showalter said of Gonzalez in Bowie. “He could pitch there potentially if we didn’t need him.”
If the Orioles do recall Gonzalez Tuesday or Wednesday, they’ll have to send a player back to the minors, at least until rosters expand on Sept. 1.
One possibility is for Gonzalez to start Wednesday for the Orioles and lefty Wei-Yin Chen to be pushed back to Friday, after the day off. Chen’s ERA is a full point lower when he starts on six or more days rest than when he pitches on regular, four-days’ rest (4.30 to 3.29).
But Showalter said the club has managed Chen’s innings to such a point this season that he’s not concerned about creating more rest for the lefty.
“This time of year his innings are so good that where we choose to start him I’m fine with,” Showalter said. “It’s not like he’s never pitched well on regular rest. He’s certainly shown that he doesn’t get out of sync or anything, just slightly better with rest.”
Around the horn
Shortstop J.J. Hardy, who missed three games with a sprained left thumb, started his second consecutive game Saturday night. … Showalter said center fielder Adam Jones’ index finger was fine after he was hit with a pitch in the eighth inning Friday night. … Heading into Saturday night, the Orioles were just 9-15 against the AL Central and 60-36 versus everyone else. … Outfielder David Lough batted second in the starting lineup for just the fourth time this season. … Closer Zach Britton became the third pitcher since 1969 to pick up his first career save and 25th career save within 90 days. The other two were Eric Gagne and Jonathan Papelbon.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun