Orioles manager Buck Showalter pressed that there's no timetable for struggling starters Brian Matusz and Jake Arrieta to return from Triple-A, insisting that their route back to Baltimore will hinge not only on performance but also need.
Before Thursday's afternoon game against the Rays, Showalter was asked what Matusz, who allowed just one run and three hits over eight innings on Wednesday night, would have to do in order to return to the Orioles starting rotation.
Showalter's answer? With the Orioles making seven quality starts in their last eight games, the pitchers aren't necessarily needed right now. Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, who has three quality starts in four major league starts, will have the opportunity to rebound from Wednesday night's rocky effort (7 runs, 7 hits, 2 walks, 3 hit batters, 2 home runs in 2 2/3 innings). And right-hander Chris Tillman, who is pitching today, has thrown two quality starts in three outings and has a 1.15 ERA.
"I think it's more about the guys who are pitching here and if there's a need here," Showalter said. "I think whenZach [Britton] made a lot of strides was when he realized he wasn't on a rehab assignment. He realized he was pitching to present himself as the first option to come back when we had a need.
"So Brian controls that," Showalter said. "He doesn't control how people are pitching up here. I'm hoping Miguel gets back on the horse the next time out and Tilly has back-to-back good outings, and we have good depth in Triple-A."