PHILADELPHIA — The Orioles used Sunday’s oblique strain suffered by utility man Steve Wilkerson to add right-hander Yefry Ramírez back to the active roster with the intention of starting him Wednesday against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Ramírez last pitched Thursday for the Orioles with five innings of scoreless, three-hit relief behind Jimmy Yacabonis against the Seattle Mariners. Both were sent back to Norfolk a day later, but Ramírez was eligible to return inside the required 10-day option period because of Wilkerson’s injury.
Wilkerson was pulled from Sunday’s win over the Los Angeles Angels after he collected his first two-hit game in the big leagues. Showalter said Wilkerson had an MRI on Tuesday that revealed a Grade 2 oblique strain, and he’d head to Sarasota to begin his rehabilitation.
“We have this opportunity with the injured player to get a player back, and Ramírez falls obviously inside that 10-day period,” Showalter said.
Ramírez will be making his second start of the season after allowing three runs in 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Boston Red Sox on June 13 at Camden Yards.
Acquired last July 31 from the New York Yankees for international signing bonus slots, Ramírez, 24, has a 3.88 ERA in 14 starts for Norfolk.
Showalter said that the move to bring Ramírez back was also made with Monday’s scheduled doubleheader against the New York Yankees in mind. He said the list of possible starters for that day could come from an even larger pool than Ramírez, Yacabonis, Miguel Castro, Mike Wright Jr., and David Hess — who will be available in the bullpen Wednesday behind Ramírez and seems like he’ll stay there for the foreseeable future.
“We got a real good look at David,” Showalter said. “He’s done some good things, too. He’s had nine starts, and I’m sure he’ll start again at some point. It just falls on Yefry’s time — in fact, he’s got an extra day. That worked out good. We want to leave Jimmy alone down there. He’s pitching tonight, so it just kind of fit.”
Showalter said he’s been impressed with his looks at Ramírez this season.
“I don’t want to broadcast it for the other team, but the changeup — hitters are so much more in swing-mode, so to speak, up here,” Showalter said. “It’s because they’re good hitters. That’s why they’re in the big leagues. This guy was a position player. You can tell that he knows his way around the field in situations. He’s having a good year down there.”
The Orioles will play a position player short Tuesday with Wilkerson out, with Jace Peterson their only spare infielder. By the time the team realized they’d need outfielder Joey Rickard, it was too late to get him to Philadelphia from Norfolk, so he’ll join the team tomorrow.