In the last years of Dan Duquette’s time with the Orioles, the composition of the bullpen shifting almost on a daily basis was something you could come to expect. There are a lot of ways that the Mike Elias GM era feels different from the Duquette days, all of them for the better, but through the first couple of weeks of the season it seems that the bullpen shifting will be a constant.
The Orioles have added two new relievers to the bullpen mix prior to Thursday afternoon’s series finale against the Athletics. Lefty Tanner Scott was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk for the first time this season. Josh Lucas, a righty once drafted by the Cardinals during Elias’s days there, had his contract selected from Norfolk.
Lucas takes up the 40-man roster spot that was cleared when Matt Wotherspoon was outrighted from the roster after his brief MLB appearance last week. If he pitches decently, maybe he will last a little longer on the roster.
There’s room for two new relievers because two other relievers have been shuffled off for the time being. Richard Bleier, whose return after last year’s season-ending lat surgery has been rocky, is headed onto the injured list with what the team said is shoulder tendinitis. Bleier on Bleier:
Richard Bleier says he’s one step away from being ready to pitch in the big leagues and that at this point, that step needs to come in a controlled environment on a rehab assignment. #Orioles— Jon Meoli (@JonMeoli) April 11, 2019
This is one of those things where I have to wonder why they didn’t figure this out in spring training. Maybe since there was no illusion that the Orioles might be competitive in 2019, they didn’t see any harm in going along with Bleier’s interest in returning before Opening Day.
The other open spot was freed up after last night’s game, when lefty Josh Rogers was optioned back to Norfolk after giving up five runs in 3.2 innings. Rogers was probably set to be optioned regardless of how he pitched, with the O’s in need of a fresh arm in case Dylan Bundy runs into a problem early in the Thursday finale. Now they’ve got two. Hopefully they don’t end up needing them both today.