After trading Zach Britton and Brad Brach — who accounted for most of the Orioles’ saves the past five seasons — last month, there is no clear successor to the closer role. But right-hander Mychal Givens appears to be the reliever most likely to show he can handle that spot.

Givens recorded his second career save in Sunday’s 9-6 win over the Rangers, retiring all four batters he faced in a 1 1/3-inning outing.


Orioles manager Buck Showalter hasn’t announced a closer yet — left-hander Tanner Scott and right-hander Mike Wright Jr. could also potentially see save chances — but said Givens has the stuff to take the role.

The Orioles first-round pick hasn't allowed a run in his first 12 pro innings in the Gulf Coast League.

“I understand what everybody’s saying,” Showalter said. “Our big thing is creating a save situation, OK? And Mike I thought was really together mechanically the night before. With some time off, he worked on some things, he and [pitching coach] Roger [McDowell] and [bullpen coach] Alan Mills. He came out and got a big out and threw very few pitches in the eighth inning, and he just continued.”

Pitching mostly in the seventh and eighth innings in a variety of situations, Givens has a 4.72 ERA. His 8.8 hits per nine innings are a career high and his 4.2 walks per nine this season are higher than his 3.5 major league career average. Givens has struggled against the first batter he’s faced (.283 batting average against) and the leadoff hitter in the inning (.348).

“Mike’s got the type of stuff that could do it,” Showalter said. “It’s just trying to get that consistency that you need there. I’m sure somewhere along the way he will get another opportunity to show he can do it again.”

Where does Wilkerson fit?

Currently on the disabled list with a left oblique strain, utility infielder Steve Wilkerson is expected to begin playing in games this week and on Monday anticipated a potential big league return within the next two weeks.

When Wilkerson went on the DL on July 2, he filled in at third base and second base. But with the Orioles looking for infield contributors with the departures of Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop, Wilkerson will likely have a chance to play at multiple positions once he returns.

“That will be up [for discussion based on] where we are when he’s healthy,” Showalter said. “That’s what he presents is a guy who can play all over and play well. As this game evolves, you can see that those guys with three-man benches are so valuable. …Those guys who can do that, their status is really going to be elevated in the game.”

Araujo still sidelined

Rule 5 right-hander Pedro Araujo remains on the DL with a right elbow strain, and he said Friday he received a platelet-rich plasma injection.

“I feel well,” Araujo said Tuesday through interpreter Ramon Alarcon. “I’ve been improving every day, which is important for me. Right now, when the team makes the decision [I’ll be back]. They just want to make sure I’m 100 percent ready. I guess time will tell.”

Araujo has been on the DL since June 11, and the Orioles must have him on the active roster for at least 90 days for him to fulfill his Rule 5 requirements. The team could bring him back when rosters expand Sept. 1 and he would be able to fulfill those requirements.

“He should be able to start throwing very shortly,” Showalter said. “I think that’s right around the corner. … I think at the very worst he would join us for September call-ups.”

Around the horn

OF Craig Gentry (rib fracture) began his minor league rehabilitation assignment Tuesday with Double-A Bowie. … Showalter announced that the Orioles’ starting rotation will remain in turn, as right-hander David Hess will start in Thursday’s series finale in Tampa Bay on one extra day of rest and Dylan Bundy will start Friday’s series opener against the Boston Red Sox at Camden Yards. Rookie right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis, who is starting Tuesday for Triple-A Norfolk, is a candidate to start one game of Saturday’s split doubleheader against Boston.

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