Orioles manager Buck Showalter doesn’t want to place a label on what he’s been forced to do, starting right-handed reliever Evan Phillips to fill the rotation hole for Monday night’s series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays.
He does steer away from the “opener” term, which is a practice the division-rival Tampa Bay Rays have used with success, designating a reliever to pitch the first one or two innings before inserting another pitcher who can provide more length, a philosophy of almost using a bullpen backward.
The Orioles would prefer to be conventional. But necessity has forced them to be creative.
“And that’s fine,” Showalter quipped. “Necessity is the mother of...