Although left-hander Josh Rogers’ scratch from Tuesday’s start with Triple-A Norfolk incorrectly prompted suspicion that he would be the Orioles’ 26th man for Wednesday’s doubleheader against the New York Yankees, manager Brandon Hyde said the move was done in preparation for the possibility of needing more pitching going forward.
There are no guarantees that Rogers will be recalled during the Orioles’ upcoming series against the Cleveland Indians, but his scratch at least offers the possibility of adding another arm to the staff in case the Baltimore bullpen is taxed in Wednesday’s two games.
“I think there’s a lot of things that are in consideration when you have a doubleheader, and it’s not only about today or tomorrow, whatever,” Hyde said before the doubleheader. “You just don’t know how today’s going to go. It could go two games at 15 innings, or your starter doesn’t last long, and all of a sudden, you’re short the next couple of days, so I think that you’re just always cautious about how today’s gonna play out, any doubleheader day’s gonna play out, so you hope that both our starters can go deep in the game and we don’t have much bullpen usage and we’re good to go for the next couple days.”
Rogers, acquired from the Yankees in last year’s Zack Britton trade, allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings of relief April 10 against the Oakland Athletics. In six Triple-A starts, the 24-year-old has a 6.48 ERA after posting a 2.08 ERA with Norfolk last season after the trade.
Rogers could also be a possibility to start the finale of the Orioles’ four-game series in Cleveland. Rainouts Monday and Tuesday pushed Baltimore’s rotation back, and although Dan Straily, Dylan Bundy and John Means will start the series’ first three games, respectively, with extra rest, the Orioles’ starters for Wednesday’s doubleheader, right-handers David Hess and Andrew Cashner, would be pitching on short rest if either started Sunday against the Indians. Rogers would also represent a long-relief option should the Orioles determine they need another arm after Wednesday’s two games.
Phillips added as 26th man
Four days after returning to Norfolk and without making an appearance there, right-handed reliever Evan Phillips rejoined the Orioles as the 26th man for Wednesday’s doubleheader. Because the doubleheader was announced more than a day in advance, Phillips was available for both games.
Phillips, a product of the 2018 trade that sent right-handers Kevin Gausman and Darren O’Day to the Atlanta Braves, began the season in Triple-A despite not allowing a run in eight spring training appearances. After getting called up April 9, he posted a 3.60 ERA in eight April outings, but he struggled in May before his demotion. He allowed two runs in each of his three appearances, raising his ERA for the season to 7.11.
“I think it was a speed bump,” Phillips said. “It’s difficult to be consistent, and it’s a very tough league up here, so as a pitcher, I think I needed to make adjustments better pitch to pitch rather than appearance to appearance. I need to be able to make those adjustments within that inning instead of letting frustration build up to the point where I lose total control of the situation and of myself, so I think it’s important that I go out there and try to be consistent and be able to make adjustments on the fly and be really aggressive and get after hitters.”
Around the horn
Making his second start of the 2019 season, right-hander Dean Kremer, part of the package from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Manny Machado, struck out nine across six scoreless innings for High-A Frederick. … Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez, the Orioles’ 2018 first-round pick, improved to 5-0 with Class A Delmarva with five innings of two-run ball, striking out six.