Orioles manager Buck Showalter said in his pregame news conference that he hasn’t heard anything from the league office about Manny Machado’s suspension appeal, so the club is just waiting. He said he doesn’t think it’s too difficult of a situation.
“Not really -- he’s prepared for it,” Showalter said. “The dynamic to this is Tuesday. We need a starting pitcher there, and that’s why you are cautious to give up a relief pitcher for someone to replace Manny. Because we don’t really have somebody on the roster that you feel like physically can go real deep if the team allows them to.”
Basically, the Orioles are expecting to lose Machado for between three and five games, starting in the next day or two. They would like to replace him with an infielder, and Jemile Weeks has been summoned to Baltimore, if needed.
However, they have an open rotation spot Tuesday against the Texas Rangers, and one of the leading candidates is left-handed long reliever T.J. McFarland. If he is needed in the bullpen between now and Tuesday, Showalter said that he would use him to help win a game.
Therefore, Showalter said, it is possible the Orioles will make no roster moves at all. That would mean McFarland would start Tuesday, relievers such as recently promoted Evan Meek and Brad Brach would stay with the club and the Orioles would play one hitter short during Machado’s suspension.
“We don’t have to do anything, 50-50 we don’t do anything,” he said. “Try to withstand it with the people we have. There are so many variables; how do we get through Saturday and Sunday, pitchingwise, with Tuesday sitting there.”
Showalter said he could bring up a starter from Triple-A Norfolk for Tuesday – though that pitcher likely would have to be added to the 40-man roster – and he again mentioned Double-A Bowie left-hander Tim Berry as a possibility. Berry, who is on the 40-man roster, came up and didn’t pitch earlier in the month. He would be on schedule for Tuesday.
As for McFarland, Showalter said that for him to be ready to start Tuesday, “I would take him out of bullpen, probably after today. But if we had to we would pitch him Sunday or Monday to win a game and figure out what we’d do Tuesday then.”
* Showalter said he talked with injured catcher Matt Wieters on Friday, but they didn’t discuss when Wieters may rejoin the club even though he won’t play again until next year.
Showalter said Wieters, who had Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow earlier this month, is “upbeat, soreness is starting to go away. ... He is right on schedule.”
* Showalter said the Orioles must make a decision on outfielder Nolan Reimold on Monday. The 30-year-old outfielder is currently on a minor league assignment at Bowie. He can’t play there after Sunday.
The club will have to add him to the 25-man roster, attempt to put him through waivers or suspend the injury assignment if he has suffered another injury.
Through 15 games, he had hit .326 with two homers and nine RBIs. The Orioles already have three right-handed-hitting left fielder-designated hitter types in Nelson Cruz, Steve Pearce and Delmon Young.