The Orioles continued to restock their now-optionable bullpen with arms after Monday’s doubleheader, recalling left-hander Donnie Hart and selecting the contract of right-hander Jhan Mariñez (john marine-YEZ) before Tuesday’s game against the New York Yankees.
The team optioned right-hander Ryan Meisinger, who pitched three innings in the second game of Monday’s doubleheader, and right-hander Yefry Ramírez, who started Game 2 of the doubleheader.
Mariñez, 29, has 95 major league relief appearances, most recently 43 games and a 3.70 ERA over 58 1/3 innings last season with the Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Texas Rangers.
Over his past 12 appearances with Triple-A Norfolk, Mariñez has converted six of seven save opportunities and has not allowed a run over 12 2/3 innings, striking out 16 and walking three while allowing nine hits.
“He’s been pitching well down there,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Mariñez. “I think it’s been 10 or 12 outings out there without giving up a run lately. He started out a little shaky but he’s really been good. He was their best option down there. He’s been closing down there. He’s doing well.”
This will be the seventh time this season that Hart has been recalled by the Orioles, but he’s only pitched 7 2/3 innings throughout those stints, posting a 3.68 ERA.
Showalter: No surprise if Machado is traded to Yankees
Asked whether he’d be surprised if the Orioles traded shortstop Manny Machado to the division-rival Yankees, Showalter said, “Not really. Nothing surprises me in today’s baseball world.”
The Yankees have expressed interest in trading for Machado, and they have inquired about fellow pending free agents Zach Britton and Brad Brach, as well as right-hander Kevin Gausman (who is under team control for two more years after this one), according to an industry source.
Discussions have not yet progressed to the point in which an offer is on the table — the Orioles have received offers from seven teams, with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Brewers currently fielding the best offers — and there’s still no certainty that the Orioles would trade with a division-rival such as the Yankees, even though it would be an opportunity to acquire talent from one of baseball’s top farm systems.
“I have a lot of confidence that if and when Manny is traded that [executive vice president] Dan [Duquette] and his people and the scouts and everything will get the best return they can possibly get,” Showalter said. “If it happens to be with that team that we’re playing tonight, then so be it. I’ll leave that in their hands. I have a lot of confidence they will do what’s best for the organization.”
Out of this world
Before Tuesday’s game, Orioles players and coaches had a video chat with NASA astronaut and Maryland native Ricky Arnold, who is on the International Space Station as a member of the NASA Expedition 56 crew.
“It was really cool to watch him live floating and he was holding onto a microphone and when he would let go it would just float there,” catcher Caleb Joseph said. “And being able to ask him questions, just about his day-to-day routine in life was interesting. I asked him how he slept and he basically said he just has kind of like a phone-booth style room that he shuts the door and he has a couple of bungee cords and he just sleeps vertical…because there’s no gravity. We asked him an array of questions. He’s a really smart guy. I’m sure the Maryland community is really proud of him. It was fun. It was unique.”
The Expedition 56 crew began a five-month mission on the International Space Station in March.
"It was a very quick connection. The actual connection over the internet. This guy is hundreds of miles in space. You can be connected from coast to coast or to a different country, but to be removed from the earth and still have a clear, very quick connection. There was only a two-second delay. Just shows you how far we've come.”
Utility man Jace Peterson, who suffered a knee contusion crashing against the outfield wall in the second game of Monday’s doubleheader, was out of the starting lineup Tuesday, but Showalter said he was available off the bench.
X-rays performed on Peterson’s knee revealed no structural damage, Showalter said, but he added that Peterson was sore today.
“He was wanting to finish the game out there last night, but I just didn’t like the way he was moving around,” Showalter said.
Around the horn
Right-hander Alex Cobb, who left Sunday’s game with a blister on his right index finger, is expected to make his next scheduled start Friday. … Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman was scheduled for seven innings in his rehabilitation start with High-A Frederick on Tuesday night. “He’s got an option to pitch again next time. I think it’s right toward the end of the break,” Showalter said. “I think we’ve got him slated to do one or the other. Right now, we’ve got it all the way to the end. You plan that out but it could change. He’s got this start and one more legally so to speak that you can go that far.”