Orioles third baseman Danny Valencia, who was scratched from Tuesday night’s lineup when his expectant wife went into labor, became a new father Wednesday morning.
“Danny, I talked to him this morning,’’ manager Buck Showalter said. “He had a little boy, Oliver, this morning a little bit after 6 a.m. He decided to come here a little early. Not only early in the morning, but a little early. Danny said that Joselyn and Oliver both were doing fine.”
To fill the place on the Orioles roster that will be vacant during Valencia’s brief paternity leave, reliever Donnie Hart was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk and will be available for tonight’s game.
Valencia may take up to three days to be with his family, but is not required to use all of his leave. Showalter would say only that Valencia told him he was going to use Wednesday to make up for all the sleep he lost.
“That’s completely up to Danny and his wife,’’ Showalter said. “I’ve got an idea what it’ll be, to see if anything comes up that he feels like he needs to be there for, that’s a priority for him and it’s a priority for us. He should stay there as long as he’s needed.”
Hart has not pitched in several days, so he will be well-rested if the Orioles need him tonight.
Tanner Scott is evolving
Rookie reliever Tanner Scott is getting more work lately. He pitched in three of the four games leading up to Wednesday and is getting into some higher-leverage situations.
“As far as closer games and stuff, you’re trying to win and develop players at the same time,’’ Showalter said. “You’re trying to give them a little more rope every chance you can and see if they can handle that. I think Tanner can handle it stuff-wise. He has come a long way in the last two years. Our player development people did a nice job with him. Obviously, he was a good draft pick.
“It’s been fun to watch him make strides this year. You’re trying to make sure, in some cases, you don’t go too fast. Some guys can go from zero to a hundred in one day and it doesn’t really matter, but there are a lot fewer from that standpoint. He’s got an interesting future.”
Scott made quite an impression when he came into a game recently to strike out the side with the bases loaded and no outs. The Orioles have steered him toward the bullpen, but Showalter said it might be too early to rule him out as a starting pitcher.
“I’m not going to pigeon-hole him in that,” Showalter said. “I know how I feel from what I’ve seen and talking to people, but a lot of people talk about how many starters can pitch with two pitches. Then again, who’s to say he doesn’t have a third pitch? He does throw a change-up.
"The problem is, a lot of times, you pigeon-hole a guy because of your need instead of what he’s best equipped to do. I kind of think he presents himself on either side of that ledger.”
Showalter is not involved in the draft machinations, but he has a pretty simple philosophy when it comes to picking amateur players in June.
“It’s about the best player, period,’’ he said. “They’re all assets. You’re drafting assets for the club. If you draft four catchers and they’re all good players, you keep the one you like the most and you get a lot of things in return in a trade."
The draft will be held Monday through next Wednesday at the MLB Network’s Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J. The Orioles will be represented there by director of baseball operations Tripp Norton and former reliever Gregg Olson.