The mystery of the weekend was finally solved Sunday morning, when Orioles manager Buck Showalter revealed that Miguel Castro would be the starting pitcher in the rain-threatened series finale against the Texas Rangers.
The original plan was for Jimmy Yacabonis to be the starter, but he fell ill and left Showalter to ponder all sorts of possibilities.
Chris Tillman was mentioned as one of them Saturday, since he was scheduled to make his last injury rehabilitation start Sunday at Triple-A Norfolk. He wasn’t recalled, however, and pitched 5 1/3 innings for the Tides, giving up two runs on eight hits.
The club will have to make a decision on his roster status later this week.
Instead, the game was a bullpen game, which could have become problematic if the game were interrupted by rain or extended by extra innings.
Right-hander Dylan Bundy will be the first pitcher to take the mound after the All-Star break, when the Orioles open a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.
Andrew Cashner could come off the disabled list in time to pitch Saturday’s game and Alex Cobb probably will go Sunday. Showalter said that the two of them might trade places if Cashner needs another day to bounce back from the neck strain that put him on the disabled list.
The absence of Kevin Gausman in that series is not an accident. He’ll go Monday in the opener of the three-game home series against the Red Sox and Yefry Ramírez is scheduled to make his fifth major league start the following night.
“I’m trying to get Gausman the most rest I can,’’ Showalter said. “He’s pitched the most and had some nagging things. I want to take this time to freshen him up a bit, so we’ll push him back a bit.”
Mike Wright Jr. was also under consideration for the start Sunday, but he has settled into a middle relief role and has been very effective over the past three weeks.
“Mike was another option,’’ Showalter said. “He's doing so well in that role, I want to leave him alone. They [Wright and Castro] both are probably going to pitch today regardless."
Around the horn
Craig Gentry (rib) and Steve Wilkerson (oblique) are not close to returning. “We’re hoping to move both of them in early August,” Showalter said. … Rookie reliever Pedro Araujo has been throwing on flat ground, but is still experiencing some discomfort in his elbow. “He tried to go 60, 90, 120 [feet], and got sore at the end,” Showalter said.