In a one-run game in the eighth inning on Tuesday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter went with rookie Kevin Gausman instead of normal set-up men Tommy Hunter and Darren O’Day.
Showalter said Wednesday that he was staying off his normal late-inning relievers due to workload and one because of a physical ailment. He wasn’t specific, but reading between the lines, it’s obvious he was referring to O’Day’s health.
“Had some where there was a specific physical ailment that kept him from pitching,” Showalter said. “And there were some, like Tommy, had five [appearances] in his last nine. Felt like we needed to stay away from him last night, physically. And we had another situation that was not related to workload.”
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O’Day has pitched just twice this month – on Sept. 1 and 8. He was at his locker briefly this afternoon before the game and said he had to leave briefly, but would be back. He didn’t return during the open media session.
“You guys can probably figure it out but I’m not going to talk about who it is and when it is,” Showalter said. “You are all smart enough to figure it out when you don’t see them for a few days when you regularly see them.”
During his media session, Showalter said he wasn’t yet sure whether the player with the physical ailment would be available Wednesday, but he said he did not need to add another reliever to the extended roster at this point.
Lefty Troy Patton also has been used sparingly this month, appearing once in September.
** Mike Morse, who has just three hits in 17 at-bats since the Orioles acquired him on Aug. 30 from Seattle, was in the starting lineup again Wednesday. He had three hits in his first seven at-bats – all on the road – but was hitless in his 10 at-bats on this homestand.
“Mike, he’s been good, I'd just like to see him get some return for how much he wants to contribute,” Showalter said. “Sometimes that can get in the way a little bit and I hope it starts tonight. We need him. He's been a good addition; just hasn't played out completely yet.”
** Because of his work visa, outfielder Henry Urrutia can’t travel to Canada with the Orioles this week and instead will go down to Sarasota, Fla., for a few days. For the first time Wednesday, Showalter said it was possible that Urrutia may not re-join the Orioles and may stay in Sarasota until leaving for the Arizona Fall League at the end of the month. That hasn’t been decided yet, he said.