Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Wednesday that the team expects to make additions when rosters expand Saturday, but added that the moves will come at different intervals.
Still, the Orioles aren’t expected to add many players in September.
Triple-A Norfolk’s season doesn’t end until Sept. 3, so the Orioles are likely to let most players finish their seasons with the Tides, especially since Norfolk is still in the race for a wild-card spot. The Tides entered Wednesday night two games back with six games to play.
Among the likeliest players to be added from Triple-A are outfielder Joey Rickard and a third catcher. The only available catcher on the 40-man roster is Chance Sisco after Andrew Susac went on the restricted list earlier this week. Outfielders Austin Hays and Anthony Santander could also receive call-ups.
Showalter added that he and pitching coach Roger McDowell have kept tabs on innings and appearance totals for all potential pitching callups — right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis, for example — but those numbers won’t be the only factor in deciding whether minor league pitchers will be called up for big league innings.
“There’s also the eyeball effect,” Showalter said. “You can have someone under [his innings limit], but you don’t like physically where they are. You can have somebody right on the cusp. You want to take advantage and get them as far as you can get them without putting them in harm’s way. So there’s a lot of different variables. There’s the eye test and there’s the physical test.”
Unlike recent years, the Orioles aren’t expected to have a taxi squad camp this season for players who could be added to the roster in September.
“I’m hoping when guys are healthy, they’ll come here, and the decision will be made on who’s coming and who’s not coming,” Showalter said. “I don’t see a reason for one.”
Mullins out of starting lineup again
Center fielder Cedric Mullins was out of the starting lineup Wednesday for the second straight game and the third time in the past four with a lingering hip problem. For the second consecutive night, John Andreoli received the start in center field against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Showalter said the club wants to get a closer look at the speedy Andreoli in center, but added that isn’t the primary reason for Mullins’ extended absence. Showalter said he hopes Mullins will benefit from Thursday’s off day and should be back in the starting lineup Friday when the Orioles open a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals, who are expected to start three right-handed pitchers.
“He’s going to get plenty of playing time between now and the end of the season,” Showalter said of Mullins. “He might want to take advantage of this and hopefully he can stay healthy and get this completely out of the way. I’m not going to tell you that’s the chief reason he’s not playing. That wouldn’t be honest.”
Around the horn
Infielder Steve Wilkerson is expected to begin baseball activities within the next few days and should play in games by the middle of next week, but with the minor league seasons ending — and if Triple-A Norfolk doesn’t make the postseason — those innings might have to come in Sarasota, Fla., in an extended spring training atmosphere. …. Rookie left-hander Josh Rogers was the 53rd different player and 27th pitcher to appear in a game for the Orioles this season. The 53 players ranks second in club history, one shy of the team record set in 1955. Rogers was the 12th pitcher to make his debut with the team, marking the most since 12 pitchers debuted in 2012. …. The Orioles announced the promotion of Lisa Tolson, a 33-year employee of the team, to vice president of human resources. Tolson, who oversees all aspects of the team’s human resources functions, began her career with the Orioles in 1985 in the team’s ticket office as a group sales liaison and was named director of human resources in 2000.