With a blister on Andrew Cashner’s right middle finger eventually forcing the Orioles to postpone his next start, manager Brandon Hyde mulled alternatives for Friday’s series opener against the Boston Red Sox.
Right-hander Dylan Bundy got consideration, as he would’ve been able to make the start on regular rest, but an extended bullpen session Wednesday prompted the Orioles leave him as Saturday’s scheduled starter.
“Didn’t wanna rush him back,” Hyde said.
Hyde’s next choice was a bullpen game, but Thursday’s 12-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays saw three Orioles relievers surrender nine runs over four innings.
“The way the game turned out tonight, that’s not a possibility,” Hyde said. “We are where we are.”
Hyde offered nothing more Thursday night than that the Orioles would send a spot starter to the Camden Yards mound Friday, hinting at roster moves to come.
With Hyde’s elimination of a bullpen game, right-hander Dan Straily, who threw 31 pitches in relief Wednesday, seems like a longshot to make the start. Tom Eshelman, acquired over the weekend in a trade with the Philadelphia Phillies to add Triple-A starting depth, threw seven one-run innings with Norfolk on Thursday and won’t be the move.
Left-hander Josh Rogers and right-hander Luis Ortiz, products of last summer’s flurry of trades, are both on regular rest if needed to start Friday and are on the Orioles’ 40-man roster, but both have ERAs above 7.00 with Norfolk. Chandler Shepherd, another Tides starter on the 40-man roster, pitched Tuesday.
Cashner, meanwhile, is not expected to need an injured list stint, Hyde said, but will be out “a few days.” The blister developed as what Hyde called a “hot spot” in Cashner’s previous start against the Houston Astros. Cashner left after six one-run innings on 87 pitches.
“We were hoping it was gonna get better, and just didn’t feel right today,” Hyde said. “I think we made kind of a last-second decision today at some point to push him back a few days, so that meant we needed a starter for tomorrow.”