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Orioles roster moves of the week: Still looking for someone who can pitch

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Darren O’Day is back from the disabled list. Some players are back from Norfolk, while others have gone to Norfolk.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Baltimore Orioles Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ve been watching MASN broadcasts over the past couple of weeks, you’ve probably heard some discussion about how the Orioles don’t actually want to be constantly shuffling the pitchers on the roster. What they really want is for some of those guys to be good enough to stick around.

So far, that’s only really been the case about Richard Bleier. Everyone else has been shuffling constantly. And so it was over the last week as well. Maybe with an off day this week, this will be the week where there’s not as many constant moves needed. Or maybe Kevin Gausman will pitch only two innings and throw everything into chaos for the entire rest of the week.

June 19 - J.J. Hardy placed on disabled list; Paul Janish selected from Norfolk

Hardy suffered a fractured bone in his wrist when he was hit by a pitch in a June 18 win over the Cardinals. They had him on the DL the next day. The estimate is that it will be 4-6 weeks from then before he can even resume baseball activities. At the time of the injury, Hardy was the second-worst hitter in MLB this season.

That injury meant that Janish got to come back for his second stint with the Orioles this season. Janish was DFA’d on June 6 before getting a hit last time around, but he got hits in consecutive games in the Tampa series, so, hooray!

June 20 - Donnie Hart recalled, Craig Gentry selected; Vidal Nuno and David Washington optioned; Zach Britton to 60-day DL

Hart had been optioned to Norfolk back on June 7. Unlike many of the optionable pitchers who’s rolled through Norfolk this year, he’s done well when he went down there. I watched a MASN interview with him where he said that when you get sent down you can either pout or learn and come back and he learned and came back.

Gentry is like Janish in that he was added after having already been removed from the roster this season. However, the Chris Davis injury has given the Orioles a chance to re-evaluate things. They decided to go with another real outfielder on the roster, rather than Washington, another first base/DH type of player.

Washington appeared in three games for the O’s following his June 14 callup. He batted six times and struck out in five of those plate appearances. I hope he finds his way back if only to get a chance to get an MLB hit.

Nuno, just recalled on June 16, did not make it long before being optioned again. He is the poster boy for the pitchers who were available for PTBNL or cash. His poster is not good-looking. In this stint, he gave up eight runs in just 2.2 innings over three games. Ouch.

Britton to the disabled list is something of a paper move. He was already not expected back before the 60-day countdown, but this most does free up a 40-man roster spot until Britton’s return, currently expected to be on July 5.

June 23 - Darren O’Day activated from DL; Gabriel Ynoa optioned

O’Day had been on the DL since June 9 with a right shoulder strain. It’s probably not a coincidence that so many of the games in the streak of allowing 5+ runs came while O’Day was on the DL. When someone in a defined role is hurt, everyone else must step up, and the O’s pitchers are certainly not doing that this year.

Ynoa hung around for a week after having been most recently recalled on June 16. He appeared in three games, allowing six runs over 6.2 innings, though five of those runs were in one very bad game. Still, that’s probably why he got bounced back to the minors. I’m sure he’ll be back.

June 24 - Stefan Crichton recalled; Miguel Castro optioned

Crichton is back for his fourth different stint with the Orioles. He was most recently optioned on June 11. He already pitched in Sunday’s 8-5 win over the Rays, coming in after Chris Tillman and keeping the Rays off the board despite allowing two hits and a walk in 0.2 innings.

Castro was up with the club since June 12. In that time, he pitched in six games and gave up five runs over eight innings. That’s a bit of a struggle, but the real reason he was probably sent down is that he pitched 2.2 innings on Saturday and the Orioles needed a fresh reliever on Sunday.

Ten Day Rule Guys

These players are currently in the ten day window after being optioned where they can’t be recalled until their ten days have passed, unless they return as a corresponding roster move with someone being placed on the disabled list.

  • David Washington (optioned June 20)
  • Vidal Nuno (optioned June 20)
  • Gabriel Ynoa (optioned June 23)
  • Miguel Castro (optioned June 24)

Injury updates

  • Britton’s rehab will take him next to Double-A Bowie on Monday and Thursday. Unless there’s a setback, July 5 is his target return date.
  • Ryan Flaherty is still not really on a timetable for return from his shoulder injury.
  • It’s still too early to know return dates for any of Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy, and Mike Wright.