Looking for another hitter to use off the bench, the Orioles promoted catcher Steve Clevenger from Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday and sent starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen to the club's Rookie-level Gulf Coast League affiliate.
Clevenger, 28, has hit .240 in 75 at-bats with the Orioles this season and .305 in 226 at-bats with Norfolk.
“We’ve been playing short a position player for a while, and we thought this was an opportunity to take care of that problem and give us a better chance to win tonight,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Clevenger, whose call-up begins his third stint with the Orioles this year, called it a “roller coaster this season, but it's always good in the end."
He said: “You get to come up here and the team is winning right now, in first place and they’re playing good baseball. I just hope I can contribute … in September when my name is called.”
It’s a procedural move involving Chen, who is 13-4 with a 3.76 ERA in 25 starts this season for the Orioles. Because he pitched Tuesday night and won’t be able to throw again until Sunday, he could be removed from the 25-man roster now and returned to the major leagues after the GCL Orioles' season ends. Thursday is the last scheduled day of play for the GCL Orioles.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said before Wednesday's game that Chen will return to pitch on regular rest Sunday against the Minnesota Twins at Camden Yards. Chen is 2-1 with a 2.65 ERA against them in his career.
Showalter also said the Orioles may not need to send a player down Sunday, one day before the active rosters can expand to 40 players, in order to bring back Chen.
“There’s some other ways to address it, too,” Showalter said.
Despite some of the other starting pitchers having minor league options, Showalter said the team didn’t have any concrete plans to send anyone else, such as Wednesday’s starter Kevin Gausman, down for a few days as a procedural move to add another reliever or hitter off the bench.
“We’re considering anything that will give us a better chance to win the game that night and won’t jeopardize what we’re doing in the future down the road,” Showalter said. “We’ll see what the game brings tonight. We let each game dictate where we are and what our needs are, and try to put our best foot forward every night, as long as it doesn’t put something down the road … that we can’t correct.”
The Orioles' rotation for the four-game series against the Minnesota Twins this weekend will be: right-hander Miguel Gonzalez on Friday; right-hander Chris Tillman on Saturday; Chen on Sunday; and right-hander Kevin Gausman on Monday.
Around the horn
Triple-A Norfolk right-hander Tyler Wilson struck out 10 batters in six innings in the Tides’ 3-0 win over Charlotte on Wednesday afternoon. Wilson picked up his 14th win, tied for third-most in all of minor league baseball. … Right fielder Nick Markakis’ home run Monday snapped an 0-for-21 slump, but it also ended a five-game hitless streak, the fourth such streak of his career. … The Orioles announced that right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (Friday), right-hander Chris Tillman (Saturday), Chen (Sunday), and Gausman (Monday) would start against Minnesota this weekend. … The Orioles and the Rays presented a check for $10,000 before the game to the Towson-based Cool Kids Campaign Foundation, which aims to enrich the lives of children with cancer. Major League Baseball Players Association representative Jeffrey Hammonds, who played for the Orioles from 1993 to 1998, was on hand for the presentation.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun