To oppose a pitcher they once traded away, the Orioles called up two they traded for last summer.
Needing a spot starter after a blister on Andrew Cashner’s right middle finger proved too troublesome for him to pitch Friday, the Orioles brought up right-hander Luis Ortiz from Triple-A Norfolk to start the series opener against the Boston Red Sox. Pitching for the Red Sox was left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who Baltimore traded to Boston for reliever Andrew Miller in 2014.
Later Friday, left-hander Josh Rogers was recalled from Norfolk. In corresponding moves, right-hander Evan Phillips was optioned to the Tides and right-hander Josh Lucas was put on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder strain.
The Orioles acquired Ortiz along with infielder Jonathan Villar and minor leaguer Jean Carmona when they traded second baseman Jonathan Schoop to the Milwaukee Brewers last season. Rogers was part of the package Baltimore received from the New York Yankees for left-hander Zack Britton.
This is the second call-up of 2019 for both pitchers, who each made their major league debut for the Orioles late last season.
Ortiz, 23, was on the roster for one game in April, but didn’t pitch. In 11 starts with Norfolk, Ortiz has a 7.01 ERA and has averaged fewer than five innings per start. Orioles manager Brandon Hyde expressed some confidence in that his previous three starts were at least six innings, but Ortiz had a 6.16 ERA in that span.
“I have no idea what to expect,” Hyde said. “I don’t think he’s happy with his numbers, but he has given them length his last three starts, and that’s something we need bad and something I talked to him about a little while ago is we need someone to come in here and be aggressive in the strike zone, let our defense play, attack these guys, make the most of your opportunity.”
Rogers pitched in relief against the Oakland Athletics in the Orioles’ first homestand and allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings. He has an 8.51 ERA in 11 starts with Norfolk.
Around the horn
Cashner’s blister worsened during his between-starts bullpen. He expects to test it with another bullpen over the weekend and return during the upcoming road trip. “I don’t think it’s serious by any means,” he said. … Outfielder DJ Stewart (ankle) will likely not travel with the team on next week’s West Coast road trip and will require a rehabilitation assignment. … Hyde said outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. (concussion) should return “in the next few days.”