Orioles manager Buck Showalter said the team is leaning toward left-hander Wade Miley starting on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays, despite the July 30 trade acquisition’s shaky results since coming over from the Seattle Mariners.
“We’ve got to see how we get through the next three days, and what we have available,” Showalter said. “But he’ll proceed like he’s starting Sunday with his work day and everything.”
Showalter cited several factors, including Miley’s favorable track record against the Rays in his career, though he allowed four runs in six innings in his one start facing them this season. Showalter also said there was some consideration given to getting an extra day of rest between starts for young starters Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman, who would be on track to pitch Monday and Tuesday against the Boston Red Sox in what could be a pivotal four-game series.
“It has a lot to do with it, and [Chris] Tillman,” Showalter said. “We gave Tillman an extra day here. We can’t get ahead of ourselves with those guys.
He also said they “could be” trying to line up those top starters for facing Boston.
“We could. I’m not going to do anything that overlooks somebody we’re playing before then,” Showalter said. “When we get to New York and Toronto, it may have a whole different look to it. You can’t operate too much like that. Most times, I’ve seen when people maneuver a lot around just to do one thing, you have an issue with what was directly ahead of them.”
In Miley’s most recent start, he allowed six runs on eight hits in 1 1/3 innings against Boston, giving him an 8.41 ERA (33 earned runs in 35 1/3 innings) since joining the Orioles in a trade for left-hander Ariel Miranda.
Showalter said “it’s hard” for someone of Miley’s experience to stay positive during the struggles.
“I’m not going to profess to know Wade that well, but he’s a guy that doesn’t stay in that place too long,” Showalter said. “Believe me, he’s not happy about it. It’s not like every time he’s pitched has been bad, but we know it hasn’t been what he had hoped. It’s hard. It’s hard to stay that because there’s not [a chance to say], ‘Oh, I’ll get it figured out over the course of the season. I’ll get it worked out.’
"We’re not in that part of the season anymore. We’ve got 16, 17 games left. Trust me, that’s still an eternity. Think about how much has changed in the last five days. We’ve got 17 of those, preferably not in a row because there’s some slippage there if you don’t watch.”
Wright, Janish added: The Orioles returned home with a couple of roster reinforcements Thursday, adding infielder Paul Janish to the 40-man roster and recalling pitcher Mike Wright from Triple-A Norfolk for the series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Wright had been with the team’s taxi squad in Sarasota, Fla., until Wednesday, and had one simulated game down there after last pitching on Sept. 5 in Norfolk’s season finale.
Showalter said he would be around to add length to the bullpen, which already has Vance Worley and Tyler Wilson as multi-inning relievers.
“With where we are, we want to be able to cover things and keep from pitching anybody,” Showalter said. “There’s some other reasons that don’t behoove anybody to talk about, as far as who might be doing well, who may not be. Someone may be a little less productive, potentially, than they were at some point in the year. You just try to take every little inch you can and put your best foot forward. There might be a situation Mike could help us in.”
Wright began the season in the major league rotation, but has been up-and-down since mid-June. He has a 3-4 record with a 5.89 ERA in 16 major league appearances (12 starts), and is 4-4 with a 3.07 ERA in 13 starts for Norfolk.
Janish was with the team on the taxi squad Wednesday in Boston, and joins as an extra infielder. Showalter said the need for him was amplified Wednesday in Boston, when utility infielder Ryan Flaherty started in left field and left the club without cover on the bench.
“I took a chance last night with taking Flaherty out of that game,” Showalter said. “If we have a problem in the infield, we’ve got an issue. Like when [second baseman Jonathan Schoop] went over and caught that ball [in foul territory]. If he gets hurt, tell me what you’re going to do? I was thinking about it about the fifth inning. If I go there, where are we going to cover? That’s why I was going, ‘Boy, did we wait too long to activate Janish?’ If Flaherty plays and you take him out to pinch-hit for him, you’ve got an issue. That shouldn’t be an issue in September.”
To add Janish to the roster, the Orioles recalled left-hander Chris Lee to the active roster and placed him on the 60-day disabled list. Lee has been out since May 23 with a shoulder strain. The move is largely procedural, though Lee will begin to accrue major league service time and be paid the major league minimum salary until the end of the season.