Cy Young Award

Necessity, not matchups, is reason Orioles are turning to relievers to start games

Necessity, not matchups, is reason Orioles are turning to relievers to start games

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...

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