Tanner Scott expected to be watching the Orioles finish their season from home in Ohio while getting some time off before spending the offseason pitching in the Arizona Fall League.
But a surprise phone call from player development director Brian Graham changed that, and before he knew it he was on his way to New York to join the Orioles.
The Orioles officially selected the contract of the left-handed pitching prospect before Sunday’s series finale at Yankee Stadium. They designated right-hander Richard Rodriguez for assignment.
“I mean right when our season ended, I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to go home,’ ” Scott said. “And I was home for maybe four days and the next minute I get a call and I was like, ‘Wow, I wasn’t expecting that.’ I was just finishing the season and getting ready for Arizona and next minute I got a call, so I’m glad to be here.”
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said before the game that he preferred to not pitch Scott on Sunday against the New York Yankees, in part because he had a heavy workday before Saturday’s game, but didn’t rule out the possibility.
“I’d prefer, but I don’t know if the Yankees will cooperate with that thought,” Showalter said. “He is available. He’s had seven days off. He did have a pretty good workday yesterday, but with the idea that he didn’t do too much to where he wouldn’t be available today.”
Scott, who ended up not pitching, said he didn’t have an idea about how much he’d get to pitch over the regular season’s final two weeks, but said the experience on being with the big league club in September will be valuable regardless.
“It’s good being around the guys and it’s going to be a good experience and getting my feet wet here,” Scott said. “So it should be good.”
Working on a short-start routine this season to allow him to work on his secondary pitches, Scott had a 2.22 ERA in 24 starts, just two of them more than three innings. He had 87 strikeouts and 46 walks in 69 innings at Double-A Bowie.
“Well, with the short starts, you can never win, but it was good,” Scott said. “I developed my off-speed more. It was a good experience and I’m glad they did it and I’ll see what they want me to do now.”
Rodriguez has already been placed on outright waivers, and the Orioles would find out Sunday afternoon whether he cleared and could be outrighted to the minors.
He allowed nine earned runs over 5 2/3 innings with the Orioles, posting a 14.29 ERA in five appearances. Rodriguez pitched a scoreless inning Saturday, but allowed four runs — including two homers — in Thursday night’s rout by the Yankees.
Jones sits again
Adam Jones was out of the Orioles’ starting lineup for the second time in three games with what Showalter called general soreness.
“Yeah, all over,” Showalter said. “Toronto really got him. That turf is different. Softer. There’s a lot of challenges going in there. We have three guys in the top 10 in at-bats in the American League, one of which is Adam.
“He plays through a lot of things over the course of the season. I just think he’s scuffling a little bit. Hopefully, physically, he can get his legs back under him in the next couple days and get him back out there.”
Third baseman Manny Machado entered Sunday third in the AL with 578 at-bats, Jones is eighth (571) and Jonathon Schoop is tied for ninth with 569.
First baseman Chris Davis and DH Mark Trumbo were out of the starting lineup Saturday against left Jordan Montgomery but returned Sunday to face right-hander Sonny Gray.
Showalter often opens the season hoping to give his key starters more rest, but playing every day has also been a badge of honor among players, and Jones set that example when he played in 162 games in 2012. Machado (2015) and Schoop (2016) followed with 162-game seasons.
“It’s also a certain mentality they have, and a lot of it comes from Adam’s example and it’s funny that we talk about that because it is unusual in the game,” Showalter said. “It really is. So we’ll continue to look for people from within our organization and outside who allow us to give them a little more here and there.”
A short and depleted bench didn’t help the situation, especially down the stretch. The Orioles often played with just three players on the bench.
“Wish I gave them or wish I had the chance to?” Showalter said when asked if he wished he had given his key players more time off over the season. “Sure. I think a lot of it has got to do with the turf, and with the time of the year because it punctuates that and it makes it even more of an issue when we go into those places.”
Around the horn
Left fielder Trey Mancini extended his hit streak to seven games and is hitting .357 over that stretch. … The Orioles ended a 10-game road streak of scoring five runs or fewer. … Sunday was shortstop Tim Beckham’s first multi-RBI game since Aug. 26 at Boston.