By Eduardo A. Encina
The Baltimore Sun
5:35 PM EDT, August 28, 2012
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said the club could use veteran left-hander Randy Wolf as either a starter or a reliever to help the O's through the stretch run.
Wolf, who was released by the Brewers on Aug. 22, was en route to Baltimore before Tuesday's game to sign a free-agent deal with the Orioles, a source confirmed.
"We're going to take a look at it," Showalter said. "We all know what September brings, it’s very hard to acquire players after Sept. . And we are going to continue to try and be proactive. Knock on wood, you are two line drives off an elbow or shoulder from scuffling for starters again. So you are better off covering your you-know-what as much as you can."
Wolf, who has a 130-117 career record and 4.19 ERA for five different teams, had held left-handed hitters to a .235 batting average over his career, so he could be an ideal candidate to add bullpen depth as situational left-handed reliever, especially with Brian Matusz as the only left-handed bullpen arm and Troy Patton slow in his recovery from a right ankle sprain.
"We are going to take one step at a time and get him here," Showalter said. "I know there was some competition for his services. And he’s coveted and right now he finds us a place that he would be interested in. And I don’t have to remind anybody that that hasn’t always been the case."
Here's what else is going on around the Orioles clubhouse:
-- Joe Saunders arrived in the clubhouse this afternoon. He will made his first start as an Oriole on Wednesday. Zach Britton is slated to start Thursday's afternoon series finale against the White Sox. Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who hasn't pitched since last Monday, is tentatively scheduled to start Friday's series opener in New York against the Yankees. If Gonzalez needs to be used out of the bullpen in long relief over the next few days, right-hander Steve Johnson is another option for Friday.
-- Designated hitter Jim Thome could pick up a bat in two days. The inflammation in herniated disk in his neck is going down, but he's still far away from going on a minor league rehab assignment.
-- Patton is also improving. He's beginning to do some running in a pool. He could begin throwing Thursday.
-- Jason Hammel came out of Monday's simulated game well and will pitch 4 or 5 innings for Class-A Frederick on a rehab assignment Saturday. He is slated to throw between 70-75 pitches. If that goes well, he could be activated to pitch Sept. 6 against the Yankees or make another rehab start for Double-A Bowie in the playoffs.
-- Wilson Betemit said his right wrist had no pain after taking his first live batting practice session on Monday. He took batting practice again today and will report for a rehab assignment at Bowie on Wednesday. He is scheduled to play there on Wednesday and Thursday. The switch-hitting Betemit, whose .306 average against right-handed pitching leads the team, said he's concentrating on hitting from the right side because his power comes from his right hand on that side of the plate.
Here are tonight's lineups:
Nick Markakis RF
J.J. Hardy SS
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Lew Ford DH
Mark Reynolds 1B
Nate McLouth LF
Manny Machado 3B
Robert Andino 2B
Chris Tillman RHP
Dewayne Wise CF
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Adam Dunn DH
Paul Konerko 1B
Alex Rios RF
A.J. Pierzynski C
Dayan Viciedo LF
Alexei Ramirez SS
Gordon Beckham 2B
Chris Sale RHP
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