In need of an extra bullpen arm, the Orioles recalled right-hander Jair Jurrjens from Triple-A Norfolk before Saturday's game against the New York Yankees and designated first baseman Travis Ishikawa for assignment.
“I just felt like we needed some coverage in our bullpen after last night,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “[Jurrjens] was the most ready. There were a couple other guys we considered. He worked the best.”
Jurrjens last pitched Wednesday for the Tides, throwing 48 pitches in just 3 1/3 innings.
He added long-relief security after Friday’s spot starter T.J. McFarland, who has been the team’s left-handed long reliever this season, lasted just 2 2/3 innings and right-hander Kevin Gausman tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen in the Orioles’ 4-3 win.
“Whatever league you play, it’s always a phone call away,” Jurrjens said. “You’ve just got to be prepared if they call your name and you come up you try to do the best you can do.”
Jurrjens’ time with the club could be short. The Orioles will have to make a roster move before Sunday’s game to activate second baseman Brian Roberts, and they also hope to activate left fielder Nolan Reimold early next week.
“You roll with the punches and so when you get your chance you try to do the most you can do and try to show them you can help the team out,” Jurrjens said.
Ishikawa’s tenure with the Orioles was a short one. He exercised an opt-out clause in his minor league deal earlier this month, but the Orioles added him to the 25-man roster in an 11th-hour move to keep him.
After being designated Saturday, Ishikawa has 10 days to be traded, released or clear waivers. If he clears waivers, he can elect free agency.
“It’s definitely been one of the more hectic weeks of my life,” Ishikawa said. “A lot of mixed emotions, so many things coming at you at once. Obviously the opt out, I didn’t think that I was going to be called up just because Chris [Davis] is playing so good and the team is playing well. I didn’t thing they needed me.
“So just the joy of getting called up and getting with these guys again after spending spring with them. I was having a lot of fun, a blast, and obviously [feel] a little let down today. I understand it’s a business part of it. I don’t fault them for it. … Hopefully later down the road we’re playing against each other or something.”
Ishikawa played just six games with the Orioles and batted .118/.167/.118. At Triple-A Norfolk, he hit .316/.413/.525 with seven homers and 31 RBIs in 49 games.
“I’m hoping it works out, would love to have Travis back in Norfolk, but he’s got 10 days the way I understand it and there’s a lot of things can happen until there,” Showalter said. “If he clears, then he gets to make a decision. He’s earned all these rights and rightfully so. I like Travis, and he’s a better hitter than he’s shown here. I know that. We know that.”
Jurrjens, who was already on the club’s 40-man roster, was 5-5 with a 4.06 ERA at Norfolk. He made one start with the Orioles this season, allowing four runs on six hits over five innings in a 10-6 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on May 18.
Around the horn
Lefty Wei-Yin Chen, who was scheduled to make a five- or six-inning minor league rehabilitation start Saturday night, could join the Orioles rotation late next week if all goes well. Showalter said he has Chen tentatively slated to start Thursday in Chicago or Friday in New York. ... Showalter said he hopes Reimold is able to join the team Monday and fly to Chicago. Reimold (right hamstring strain) entered Saturday 7-for-38 in his minor league rehab assignment at Double-A Bowie. … Showalter said he didn’t see “a projectable date” for designated hitter Wilson Betemit’s return. Rehabbing a Grade 2/3 PCL tear in his right knee, Betemit still needs to build up strength in his quad muscle. …. Davis’ double Thursday put him in some elite company. He is only the third player in baseball history with 25 doubles and 25 homers by the end of June, joining Larry Walker (1997) and Todd Helton (2001). … Jim Johnson’s next save will be the 100th of his career. When he gets it, he will tie Stu Miller for third all-time on the franchise saves list. … The Chicago White Sox are starting three lefties against the Orioles in their upcoming series: John Danks, Hector Santiago and Jose Quintana. Jason Hammel will start the first game of that series Tuesday for the Orioles, and Miguel Gonzalez will pitch Wednesday. Thursday’s starter is listed as TBA.