The Orioles waited as long as they could, but settled Wednesday's starting pitcher crisis late Tuesday night, when manager Buck Showalter announced Ubaldo Jimenez would rejoin the rotation for the start against the San Diego Padres.
Jimenez and his 6.89 ERA were chased from the rotation last week to create a spot for the returning Yovani Gallardo, but the subsequent demotion of right-hander Mike Wright to the minors made it so the Orioles needed another starter.
Showalter said Jimenez's selection hinged on the Orioles' bullpen struggles in Tuesday's 10-7 loss to the Padres as much as anything else.
One of the other candidates, reliever Odrisamer Despaigne, relieved a struggling Zach Britton in the ninth inning Tuesday, removing him from the conversation.
"It's four days off," Showalter said of Jimenez. "He's rested and ready to go. I was hoping to stay away from Despaigne, but didn't want to leave Zach [Britton] out there and get in a position where he couldn't pitch tomorrow. He had a couple days off and only pitched two out of seven, so we were hoping to keep it at one run and try to have everybody tomorrow, but it didn't work out."
Wright is scheduled to make his first start for Triple-A Norfolk on Wednesday, and cannot return unless a player goes on the disabled list to create a spot. Left-hander T.J. McFarland also has that restriction. The Orioles possibly have that option with left-hander Brian Duensing dealing with an elbow injury.
Showalter said there's still another move to be made in that equation, too.
"We didn't know until after the game," Showalter said. "We were waiting to see if Duensing is DL-able, then we can bring back someone before the 10 days. And we feel like that is where he will eventual end up, but we are not sure. That's not to say we won't bring somebody tomorrow that's within the 10-day window. We are not done yet. Believe me, we are going to have to do something tonight. It seems like we have been doing that a lot lately."
In his only relief appearance since going to the bullpen, Jimenez allowed five runs, and let two inherited runners score, in 2 1/3 innings Friday to elevate his ERA to 7.34.