Tyler Wilson picked up his first big league win Friday, and it’s possible his reward is getting sent back to Triple-A Norfolk.
That’s the life of a rookie pitcher with minor league options in the Orioles organization.
“Sure, exactly, but I don’t think about that too much,” Wilson said. “I’m really trying to enjoy every single day, learn as much as I can while I’m here and help the team in the process.”
The problem is Orioles manager Buck Showalter isn’t particularly comfortable with where his bullpen is right now considering his team has had two consecutive short outings by starters (Chris Tillman went three innings Thursday because of rain and Ubaldo Jimenez lasted just four innings Friday after he was lifted for a pinch hitter).
Showalter said he had discussions with pitching coach Dave Wallace and bullpen coach Dom Chiti about the bullpen situation, and they were deciding what to do late Friday night.
“We spent half the game trying to figure [it] out,” Showalter said. “We met before the game [Thursday] and today about if this happens, we need to do this; we do that. The problem is a lot of the guys available down there [in Triple-A] are one-inning pitchers.”
Given that the Orioles want someone who can throw multiple innings and save the bullpen again, perhaps the most likely candidate is knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa, who last pitched for the Tides on Wednesday and is on the 40-man roster. He is 2-3 with a 4.62 ERA in eight games, all starts, and 37 innings at Triple-A Norfolk.
Gamboa has been called up before this year, and didn’t pitch.
Another possibility is U.S. Naval Academy alumnus Oliver Drake, who has a 0.96 ERA in 18 2/3 innings over 16 games. He has struck out 30 batters and walked four, and is also on the 40-man roster. He has really re-established himself this year, but has had just one outing of multiple innings.