By Eduardo A. Encina
The Baltimore Sun
8:35 PM EDT, July 6, 2014
BOSTON -- Right-hander Bud Norris, who remains on the 15-day disabled list with a right groin strain, came out of his two-inning simulated game Saturday well. He is now a candidate to start Tuesday or Wednesday against the Washington Nationals, but the Orioles are leaning toward starting him Tuesday at Nationals Park.
Starting Norris on Tuesday would give left-hander Wei-Yin Chen an extra day of rest and give Norris two starts before the All-Star break, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.
“He feels good today,” Showalter said about Norris. “Everything went well [Saturday]. He threw 30-35 pitches, so he’s an option for both days. He’s not that far removed from pitching. We felt that was sufficient. It gives him two starts before the break. In a perfect world, you’d like to see him get those under his belt. We’ll see.”
The addition of Norris to the active roster would give the Orioles six starters again, but Showalter said he is considering optioning a starting pitcher within the next few days in order to add an extra reliever until the All-Star break.
That move would allow Norris to start Tuesday and then again in the Orioles’ final game before the break on Sunday night against the New York Yankees on normal rest.
Davis receives a day off Sunday
First baseman Chris Davis, mired in a 2-for-34 slump, received a day off in Sunday’s series finale against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Showalter said Davis’ career numbers against Red Sox starter Jake Peavy (1-for-10) also came into play.
“He’s fine physically,” Showalter said. “Just felt like with the doubleheader yesterday and … Peavy. … It’s just a good day to give him a day, he’s scuffling a little bit, obviously.”
Showalter said he expects Davis to be back in the starting lineup Monday when the Orioles open a two-game interleague series at Nationals Park.Playing in a National League park, the Orioles will be without the designated hitter, so they’ll have to find a way to accommodate Nelson Cruz, Steve Pearce and Davis.
“What’s the end game?” Showalter said. “You’re trying to get back to where he was and has been this year at times. But it’s a relentless challenging place. It’s [Stephen] Strasburg tomorrow. All their starting pitchers are good. But he hit those guys last year. He hit good pitching last year. And he has this year at times. It’s just been a tougher road for him lately.”
Around the horn
Before Sunday’s game, the Orioles designated right-handed reliever Ramon Ramirez for assignment in order to clear a roster spot for right-hander Kevin Gausman. Ramirez made just one appearance with the Orioles, pitching a scoreless inning Monday. … Center fielder Adam Jones extended his hitting streak to 10 games Sunday. He is 17-for-37 (.459) with two homers and six RBIs over that stretch. … Nelson Cruz hit safely in his first two plate appearances Sunday, giving him a hit in seven consecutive at-bats, the longest streak by an Orioles player since Derrek Lee hit in seven straight at-bats on June 17-18, 2011.
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