Orioles pitching situation beginning to get 'pretty complicated'

MIAMI — A looming suspension for left-handed reliever Brian Matusz adds another question mark to an Orioles' pitching staff that is seemingly a daily work in progress.

The Orioles are bracing for news this week that Matusz will be suspended following his ejection Saturday for having a "foreign substance" on his non-pitching arm. No suspension has been handed down yet — Milwaukee's Will Smith received eight games Friday for a similar infraction — and Matusz will almost certainly appeal. But when the process is finalized, the Orioles will be forced to play one man down for a period of time.


And that's not good news considering the Orioles must play 14 games in their next 13 days, including Thursday's make-up doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox.

"I really don't know what's going to go down where Brian's concerned," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "The doubleheader coming up, it's going to get pretty complicated now with all that going on. It puts a lot of guys back in the mix."


The Orioles have already recalled three relievers in the past week from Triple-A Norfolk — Tyler Wilson, who was sent down again Saturday, Oliver Drake and Chaz Roe.

It's expected that rookie Mike Wright will start one of the doubleheader games Thursday, but the other likely will be pitched by someone not currently on the 25-man roster.

Wilson could return to start one of those Thursday games as the 26th man — a one-day roster allowance for a doubleheader — and so could T.J. McFarland, who was demoted Sunday to make room for Roe.

Another possibility is recalling right-hander Bud Norris (bronchitis) from his injury rehab assignment and giving him a start Thursday. He is slated to pitch for Double-A Bowie on Wednesday after giving up nine runs in a Triple-A start Friday, but Showalter admitted those plans may have changed with the instability of the pitching staff right now.

Showalter said he even considered bringing Kevin Gausman (right shoulder) off the disabled list, but the organization still wants him to get a few starts in Triple-A this year after pitching out of the Orioles' bullpen before his injury.

"It brings anybody into play, anybody who is sent down," Showalter said. "I thought for a second about Gausman. I'm not going to do that. Obviously, he's in a program, in the middle of that."

Roe makes sparkling debut

Roe found out around 12:30 a.m. Sunday that he'd be returning to the big leagues, hopped a plane to Miami by 6 a.m. and was pitching against the Marlins by about 3 p.m.

"It's always exciting to get that call," said Roe, who has pitched in 24 combined games with the Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Yankees in his career. "I'm just happy to be here and whatever I have to do to help the team."

The 28-year-old right-hander entered with two on and no outs and retired all six of the batters he faced for two perfect innings.

"We really liked him in the spring. He was a guy we took on every trip," Showalter said of Roe, who was 3-1 with a 2.19 ERA in 17 games at Triple-A Norfolk. "He was another good addition to our depth. I'm happy for him. It's been a long road back for him, too."

McFarland demoted; Wesley Wright to 60-day DL


After getting tagged with the loss in the 13th inning Saturday night, McFarland was sent to Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday morning. It's possible McFarland will be called up to pitch in Thursday's doubleheader, but regardless he'll be considered a starter when he's with the Tides.

"I like getting Mac starting again," Showalter said of McFarland, who had a 3.60 ERA in five games with the Orioles. "I'd rather keep the ball in his hand if he's going to do something in that doubleheader."

Roe wasn't on the 40-man roster, so the club moved lefty reliever Wesley Wright (left trapezius strain) from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. He has been pitching in extended spring training, but Showalter said he thought Wright still needed some time to return to form before joining the Orioles. He is now eligible to come off the DL on June 10.

Around the horn

3B Manny Machado has a seven-game hitting streak. … According to baseball historian David Vincent, Matusz's ejection was the first in modern franchise history for having a foreign substance/doctoring a baseball. The St. Louis Browns, the Orioles' predecessor, had three baseball-doctoring ejections: Nelson Potter in 1944 and "Dauntless" Dave Danforth in 1922 and 1923. …Mercyhurst (Pa.) University, where Orioles outfielder David Lough played college baseball, participated in the school's first NCAA Division II College World Series game on Sunday.


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