The 11th-hour patchwork required to decide the Orioles’ starting rotation on a day-to-day basis continued Wednesday as the team announced that rookie right-handers Yefry Ramírez and David Hess will start the first two games, respectively, of this weekend’s series at Yankee Stadium.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said there’s still no clear timetable for the return of veteran pitchers Alex Cobb (cut on his right middle finger) and Andrew Cashner (left knee bursitis), but neither will pitch against the Yankees.
“Nothing imminent where they fit into the picture,” Showalter said.
Because Showalter wants to give right-hander Dylan Bundy an extra day off — currently scheduling him for Monday’s opener in Boston — that leaves a hole for Sunday’s series finale in New York.
“He had a pretty strenuous outing last night,” Showalter said. “And he’s going to get two more outings regardless, and how they fall, we don’t because of our starting pitching, we don’t want to pitch him sooner than we have to or should. I’m leaning toward Monday, but I talked to him today. Let’s see how he feels the next couple of days.”
Two pitchers currently throwing in Sarasota, Fla., to stay ready for a potential call-up, right-hander Dillon Tate and left-hander John Means, are unlikely to fill that spot, but Showalter didn’t rule it out.
“Friday probably will be a big day for us, because we should be OK for Friday,” Showalter said. “But how we come out of Friday, because I’m not going to have them get on a plane and come to New York and pitch the day they’re traveling. I’m hoping to get through the next number of games without having to do anything.”
Davis slumping again
Struggling slugger Chris Davis raised his batting average to .180 on Sept. 5, his highest season average since May 11, but in eight games since, he is just 1-for-28 with 13 strikeouts.
As bad as Davis’ season was for most of the year, he had the opportunity to get back to .200 with a strong September, but the same problems that have haunted him throughout the season returned. He’s also played less often, making just eight starts in 11 games as Trey Mancini has seen more time at first base and the two players have shared the designated hitter spot.
Davis entered Wednesday’s game hitting .171.
“He’s had three or four times this year,” Showalter said. “I know when he had that period off, he came back and was good for two or three days. The last couple days have been tough.
“You know what, I have a lot of thoughts and ideas about that. Obviously, I’ve voiced them to him and [hitting coach] Scott [Coolbaugh]. I know that he’s got a stiff neck today, I think from a slide he had. I know what I think, watching it. It’s obviously selectness some times. He’s always over-selective and sometimes not selective enough. You watch it. I’m not going to sit here. I know what I think. It has obviously been hard for a while to keep that locked in for an extended period of time. You see two or three games and say ‘Wow, that looks more like it,’ and for a couple days it’s not there anymore and you don’t know when it’s going to come back.”
Orioles catcher Chance Sisco, who left Sunday’s game after a foul tip hit his mask and caused a cut and sent him into concussion protocol, won’t travel with the club to New York because he hasn’t been cleared to play, Showalter said.
“Chance is not going to make the trip, but once he passes the concussion test, we’ll bring him on the road,” Showalter said.
For now, the Orioles will stay with two active catchers — Caleb Joseph and Austin Wynns.
Sisco was recalled Sept. 3 and played in five games (three starts) before the injury, going 0-for-11 with four strikeouts.
Rogers shut down
The club officially shut down rookie left-hander Josh Rogers, one of the three pitchers acquired from the Yankees in the Zach Britton trade.
Rogers made three starts for the Orioles, going 1-2 with an 8.49 ERA, and Showalter contemplated giving Rogers additional innings in relief, but the team decided he’s done for the season after pitching 151 1/3 innings between the majors and minor leagues.
“This is his last day,” Showalter said. “He’s going to go home. He won’t be making the trip. We’re not going to let him pitch any more. He has accomplished everything we have wanted him to accomplish.”
Around the horn
As part of WWE Wrestlemania night at Camden Yards, professional wrestlers Luke Gallows, a Cumberland native, and Karl Anderson participated in a pregame meet-and-greet and threw out the ceremonial first pitch. … The Braille jerseys the Orioles wore Tuesday for National Federation of the Blind Night will be auctioned on orioles.com/auctions with the proceeds going to the NFB. … Mychal Givens’ Braille jersey was sent to the Baseball Hall of Fame to recognize the first time a major league team incorporated Braille on their uniforms.