The rain soaking the state of Maryland on Saturday has thrown a lot of things out of whack with the Orioles, not least of which will be their starting rotation. The Orioles and Indians will play a split doubleheader on Sunday. The team announced that Ubaldo Jimenez will be starting the 1:35 first game, while Chris Tillman will be the Game 2 starter, currently scheduled for 7:05.
For a split doubleheader that was arranged less than 48 hours in advance, both teams are allowed to make use of a 26th man on the roster but only for the second game. At first, it looked like the team was planning to call up Kevin Gausman to make that start of the second game. They scratched him from his regularly scheduled start on Friday in anticipation of possibly needing him for this doubleheader. That won't be happening after all.
One more peculiar thing about the 26th man rule is that you can select a 26th man who might otherwise be within the ten day rule. That is, a player who has been optioned ordinarily can't be recalled for ten days except in the case of injury. Another exception is to be the 26th man of a doubleheader. That means that T.J. McFarland is a good potential 26th man, since he can serve as the long relief insurance. He would otherwise be ineligible to return so soon, having only been optioned before Friday's game.
Tillman will have an extra day of rest before starting his game, yet he's still the more likely of the two starting pitchers to get bombed and leave early. There's where you want a guy who can potentially go 3-4 innings and bridge the gap to other relievers.
By not choosing to use Gausman to start one of the games, the Orioles will run into a problem later in the week of either needing to use a starter on short rest or call up a spot starter. There are no off days this week. The final game of the series against the Rangers on Thursday is where they'll have an issue. That's a problem they can address on Thursday.
The rain has caused a bevy of other postponements that don't relate to the team on the field. Of interest to fans who have been looking forward to the Buck Showalter garden gnome giveaway, that giveaway will now take place before the 7:05 game on Sunday night. The first 25,000 fans will get the gnome.
If you have a ticket for Saturday's game and can't make it Sunday night, you can conduct an exchange either in person at the box office or by mailing the Orioles, Attention: June 27 rainout, 333 West Camden Street, Baltimore, MD 21201. That exchange must be completed by August 31.
The season ticket holder Q&A with Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette will be rescheduled for a later date. Additionally, a scheduled Kids Run The Bases experience that was set for the 1:35 game on Sunday will be rescheduled to August 23 in order to ensure that the grounds crew is able to properly prepare the field for the second game.
Got all that? OK, good.
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