xml:space="preserve">
Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, center, talks with pitching coach Dave Wallace, left, and catcher Matt Wieters, right, during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Sunday, July 3, 2016, in Seattle.
Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, center, talks with pitching coach Dave Wallace, left, and catcher Matt Wieters, right, during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Sunday, July 3, 2016, in Seattle. (Ted S. Warren / AP)

In announcing Ubaldo Jimenez as Thursday's starter against the Washington Nationals and adding Mike Wright to the bullpen as a long reliever, the Orioles signaled they'll be replacing their most reliable starter — Chris Tillman — with an extension of their most reliable pitching philosophy.

Tillman went on the disabled list Wednesday, retroactive to Aug. 21, with right shoulder bursitis, and the Orioles added Wright to the 25-man roster in his place.

Advertisement

While stressing he doesn't consider Tillman "lost," pitching coach Dave Wallace said Wednesday that the Orioles' approach to cobbling together the innings Tillman will leave won't change from how they normally approach games, or series, or weeks for that matter.

"You know what, we're in a day-to-day mode right now," Wallace said. "We have to, as we have been for a long time. We'll manage tonight's game, try to get through the best we can with tomorrow in mind and do that each day. That's kind of the way this staff is built. We can't do anything about it. We've got to play with the cards we're dealt, and we will. Buck [Showalter] does a great job handling the staff."

Tillman hopes he won't need more than the two required weeks on the DL for the right shoulder bursitis to clear up.

"Knowing Chris, he'll pitch," Wallace said.

Until then, the options that exist almost exclusively have already pitched in and washed out of the rotation this season. Jimenez has a 6.94 ERA and gets the start because unlike the other options — Vance Worley, Wright and Tyler Wilson — he's really of no value in the bullpen.

Wright was added after going 2-3 with a 4.23 ERA in his most recent stint at Triple-A Norfolk. It hadn't gone well for him in his first three trips to the big leagues to date. Wright is 3-4 with a 5.97 ERA in 14 games for the Orioles this season, but said he has improved since then.

"I felt good," Wright said. "I felt really strong, really positive. You know, every outing felt like I was getting better. … It's the same thing you always do every season, continue to try to execute as many pitches as you can every game."

Worley remains in the bullpen for the time being after pitching three innings Tuesday in Baltimore, while Wilson was optioned out of the bullpen on Friday and can't return until 10 days after being sent down.

Jimenez is glad for the opportunity to rejoin the rotation, even if it comes under difficult circumstances for the Orioles.

"It's never a good thing to have to take the spot of someone when he gets hurt, especially the way Tilly, the way that he was pitching," Jimenez said. "But it's part of the game. Whatever adversity you have to face, you have to go through it. And I think that's something that I'm going to be doing tomorrow, trying to be the best that I can be for the team."

Jimenez last started on July 28, allowing one run in five innings despite waiting 19 days between starts. Since then, has made just three relief appearances, most recently on Aug. 19.

"I don't think it's going to be as bad as my last start, when I had to pitch with [19] days' rest," Jimenez said. "Being in a couple games before tomorrow, I don't think it's going to be that bad. I've been working on stuff, I've been able to get on the mound and get my innings."

For Jimenez, it's yet another opportunity to contribute to a team that has stomached some rough stretches from him in his three years in Baltimore. Before he was removed from the rotation for the first time this season in mid June, he was the worst qualified pitcher in baseball.

"I know that things haven't been the way that I want it to be, but that's baseball," Jimenez said. "That's life. You have to continue fighting. … Hopefully I'll be there for the team in the last month, because we really need it, especially now that Tilly is out."

Advertisement

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement