The Orioles bullpen was forced to throw 6 1/3 innings Wednesday when starter Miguel Gonzalez couldn’t get out of the third.So will a move be made this morning to bring in another reliever to fortify the bullpen?
“It's something we're talking about,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after Wednesday’s game. “We were talking about it after the third inning because we were trying to map out how we were going to get through the rest of the game without jeopardizing anybody. Had to push [Matt] Lindstrom a little further than we wanted to. We're talking about [making a potential move].”
Lindstrom, who hadn’t pitched since Friday due to a left knee injury, went 2 1/3 innings. Four other relievers -- Kevin Gregg, Luis Ayala, Troy Patton and Pedro Strop -- each threw one inning.
There is no traditional long man, but Ayala and Gregg have sort of shared that role recently. Ayala threw 2 1/3 innings on Sunday and pitched one inning Wednesday; Gregg threw 1 1/3 innings on Tuesday and one Wednesday; Lindstrom is likely out for a day.
That means the fresher bullpen arms are Patton, Strop, Darren O’Day and closer Jim Johnson.
That might be enough to get them through Thursday’s game – with an Ayala or a Gregg to fill in if needed. Then the club could recall Miguel Socolovich, who was sent to Triple-A Norfolk on July 17, and therefore is not eligible to be promoted again until his 10 days are up on Friday.
There aren’t a lot of Triple-A options that would not require a 40-man move; only Norfolk starters remain on the Orioles’ 40-man roster, no relievers.
If they want a true reliever, the Orioles would have to add someone to the 40-man and, therefore, take someone off of it.
Steve Johnson, who started Monday and doesn’t pitch again until Saturday, could come up as insurance since he is on the 40-man. And he could go down the next day for Socolovich. It could be treated as a work day for him.
Or the Orioles could roll the dice and hope Chris Tillman gives another quality performance.
Given the 12:35 start time, the wheels had to be in motion last night.
If they decide to make a move, the most likely scenario would be demoting infielder Steve Tolleson to the minors. Tolleson started in left field on Wednesday, and though he is batting just .185, Showalter likes his versatility.