In the press conference following Sunday's win over Boston, Orioles manager Buck Showalter provided an update about unanswered questions for the Orioles rotation for the next two days. Jake Arrieta is now going to get the start on Monday in Detroit, where he'll be opposed by Max Scherzer.
Earlier in the day, both Monday's and Tuesday's starters were listed as TBA. Monday is the scheduled slot for Jason Hammel, who has been battling an illness and will not be able to make the start on his day. Arrieta had been called up to help in the bullpen during the Boston series, but was not needed. That leaves him available to start tomorrow's game, which will be his fifth start of the season. He had a 6.63 ERA in his earlier stint with the Orioles, with an ugly 7.58 BB/9.
That leaves Tuesday's starter still as a question mark. If Hammel has regained enough energy to pitch in Tuesday's game, then he will make the start one day later than he would have before. If he hasn't, then the O's will need to make some sort of roster move to bring up a starter. Arrieta could be optioned following his start, especially if he doesn't acquit himself well. Miguel Gonzalez could end up on paternity leave, depending on when his wife gives birth to their first child.
If Arrieta is optioned because a starter is needed, Zach Britton would be the likely panic starter. He was pushed back from starting today in Norfolk in case he needs to appear at the MLB level in the next couple of days. Goodness knows we will panic if Britton is starting.
Gonzalez going to the paternity list would mean that Kevin Gausman can be called back up to start on Tuesday. This is all assuming Hammel is unable to pitch on Tuesday. Of course, Arrieta could be optioned back to Norfolk for an extra bullpen arm whether he pitches well or not. Between what should be the return of Gausman as early as the O's can manage it and the rehab progression of Wei-Yin Chen, there are better choices soon to be available.
Arrieta has a combined 38 plate appearances against Tigers hitting, with a .194/.237/.222 batting line that includes only two walks against ten strikeouts. If you think that means something, you may have a good feeling about Monday. On the other hand, even at AAA this year, Jake has a 5.50 ERA. What else can I say? Hold on to your butts.