Orioles notes: O's add Miguel Castro to worn-out bullpen for series opener; Logan Verrett optioned

CHICAGO — Reliever Miguel Castro joined the Orioles on Monday from Double-A Bowie for their series opener against the White Sox, continuing a bullpen churn caused by an unprecedented short run of starts by their rotation.

To make room on the 25-man roster, the Orioles optioned reliever Logan Verrett to Triple-A Norfolk.


Castro, 22, appeared in two games for the Orioles in his previous stint with the club, walking three and striking out one in two scoreless innings.

Acquired in April from the Colorado Rockies for future considerations, Castro has spent most of his time in the Orioles organization getting on a steady throwing program after two up-and-down seasons for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Rockies.


However, the team has run into stretches in which it was short on relief options often this year, and even though it has more long-term goals than short-term ones for Castro at the major league level, he's been summoned twice now to join the club.

In five minor league outings for Double-A Bowie on either side of his major league time this year, Castro has allowed 12 earned runs in 19 1/3 innings, though seven of them came in one outing.

"I was working as a long reliever and as a starter," Castro said, through interpreter Ramon Alarcon. "I had one bad outing. The others were more or less [good], so I'm just concentrating on doing a good job and continuing to improve."

He'll join a bullpen that's been exhausted by the starting rotation of late. In the Orioles' past seven games, they've received 24 innings from their starting pitchers, leaving 29 innings of relief to cover.

Most recently, Kevin Gausman didn't make it out of the fourth inning Sunday in a blowout loss to the New York Yankees, and the team had to cover 4 2/3 innings with Verrett, Jimmy Yacabonis and Mychal Givens.

Verrett and Yacabonis each struggled, with Verrett allowing three runs (two earned) in 2 2/3 innings and Yacabonis allowing four runs in one inning. Both allowed home runs to Yankees slugger Aaron Judge.

Before Sunday's game, Stefan Crichton was optioned to the minors and Edwin Jackson was designated for assignment after being used for similarly long outings on Saturday.

Britton to Frederick this week: Closer Zach Britton (forearm) threw a successful 30-pitch bullpen Monday session in Sarasota, Fla., but uncertain weather there has changed the next stop on his rehabilitation  schedule.


Instead of throwing to hitters in a live batting practice/simulated game situation on Thursday in Sarasota, Britton will do so at High-A Frederick.

Manager Buck Showalter said Britton's outing Monday went "real well," and he's still on track to make his first rehab outing at Short-A Aberdeen on Monday in its season opener.

Around the horn: Infielder Ryan Flaherty (shoulder) threw for the first time since a platelet-rich plasma injection last month, which was "a big step for him," Showalter said. Flaherty threw 25 times from 60 feet, and his path forward will hinge on how he feels tomorrow, Showalter said. ... Frederick shortstop Ryan Mountcastle, outfielders Austin Hays and Randolph Gassaway, and closer Tanner Chleborad were named Carolina League All-Stars.