The Orioles made a pair of moves Wednesday that will affect the team’s starting rotation during their final series before the All-Star break this weekend, placing right-hander Andrew Cashner on the 10-day disabled list after he received a trigger-point injection in his neck and recalling right-hander Yefry Ramírez.
Cashner received the injection, which manager Buck Showalter said Cashner has had in the past near midseason, on Wednesday. And Ramírez, who was optioned before Tuesday’s game after starting Game 2 of Monday’s doubleheader against the Yankees, was able to return before serving 10 days in the minors because he rejoined the team as part of a corresponding DL move.
Cashner’s first half is officially done. He will be eligible to return next Saturday in Toronto, the Orioles’ second game after the All-Star break.
“It’s something he gets a really good return from,” Showalter said. “There’s a lot of things that guys do before the break. Some guys get injections, shoulders, different stuff, position players. It’s pretty common. Hopefully, he’ll respond well. We expect that to be good and he’ll finish the rest of the year.”
Cashner’s next start would have been Sunday — the Orioles’ final game before the break — which opens the possibility of right-hander Chris Tillman’s return from the DL to start that game against the Texas Rangers.
Tillman made his fifth minor league rehabilitation start on Tuesday for High-A Frederick, allowing six runs (four earned) on six hits and three walks over 6 1/3 innings in a 102-pitch outing against Wilmington. Through five starts, Tillman has yet to record a strong pitching line, posting a 7.59 ERA while allowing 41 base runners over 21 1/3 innings.
Tillman is scheduled to start Sunday for Norfolk in what would be his final rehab start before his 30-day rehab assignment window expires, but Showalter said the team could activate him to start Sunday’s game against Texas.
“[There was] some good,” Showalter said. “I can tell you he was more consistent with his velocity than any time. I can tell you that. A couple throwing errors by him didn’t help his cause. He had a tough inning or two, but he was good the last two or three innings. He retired a bunch of guys in a row. He’s at a level there where guys are swinging at anything that’s moving sometimes.”
The Orioles’ other leading option would be to recall right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis from Norfolk to start against Texas.
Ramirez will likely fill Saturday’s rotation spot against the Rangers.
Hart rides Norfolk shuttle
When the Orioles recalled left-handed reliever Donnie Hart before Tuesday’s game, it marked the seventh time the team has summoned him from Triple-A Norfolk this season.
He hasn’t been with the Orioles more than a week this season — most of his stints with the club have been just two or three days — but Showalter lauded Hart’s dedication to performing every time he’s been optioned.
“Donnie gets it,” Showalter said. “I wouldn’t say it’s a short conversation. But he controls it. He goes down there and pitches well and he comes back. There’s always going to be a need. He’s on the roster. It’s an easy up and down. He can pitch multiple days. We needed some length. We had a bunch of guys last night that we were going to stay away from.
“He understands it, and just about every time, he goes down there and does the things that makes him worthy of coming back. I think a lot of guys this year have shown [that]. I tell them, you know you control this. You go down there and continue to pitch well you’ll come back. And he has. I think he gets it.”
Orioles fan Jack Collins, the winner of Major League Baseball’s charity auction to play several Orioles players and coaches in chess, visited the Orioles clubhouse before Wednesday’s game and played matches against Wayne Kirby, Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop, among others.
The auction, which included experiences from the Orioles and every other major league team, benefited the Katharine Feeney Memorial Scholarship Fund, which was named for the longtime MLB executive who died in April 2017 of cancer.
Around the horn
Orioles reliever Mychal Givens will sign autographs and greet fans Friday at Westfield Annapolis Mall from 11 a.m. to noon. The event is free of charge and open to the public. … Three-time Olympic gold medal softball player Lisa Fernandez attended Wednesday’s Orioles-Yankees game. Fernandez is in town for next week’s All-Star Game festivities.