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Orioles-Padres series preview: Uncertainty in the starting rotation

The Orioles will visit Manny Machado for a short, two-game series in San Diego. Who will pitch for Baltimore in those games has yet to be determined.

San Diego Padres v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

After taking three of four games from the Angels in a roller coaster of a series, the Orioles will stay on the West Coast and play two games in San Diego. With John Means serving a (hopefully) short stint on the IL, the Orioles have a hole in the rotation that needs filled. As of Sunday evening, the Birds had not announced starters for Monday or Tuesday.

Gabriel Ynoa can be considered a default, in-house candidate. He hasn’t pitched since he threw three innings against the Angels on Wednesday, so he will be fresh. Ynoa holds a 1-6 record in 20 games (seven starts) this season. Five of the six losses came in a seven-game stretch from May 27-June 30. Ynoa started all seven of those games, and did not fare well. He delivered a quality start in an eventual Orioles win against the Astros on June 7, but he did not receive a decision.

Ynoa has showed improvement lately out of the bullpen. His ERA has dropped a full run (from 6.75 to 5.75) since June 23, and he’s held opponents to one run or fewer in six of his last seven outings.

The Orioles could also use Jimmy Yacabonis in an opener role for one of the two games. Baltimore’s bullpen tossed 3.1 innings last night, and could be forced into early action after Ynoa on Monday. Still, there’s not many options. David Hess could be promoted to pitch Tuesday, but he would not have enough rest for a Monday night start.

One way or another, someone will be on the mound for the Orioles.

Game 1 - Monday, 10:10 pm

TBD vs. Chris Paddack (6-5, 2.84)

The Padres will send out Chris Paddack in the opener to face the O’s. Paddack holds an impressive 2.84 ERA and a winning record to match. San Diego has spread out starts for the 23-year-old in an attempt to limit innings. He hasn’t worked particularly late into games, but he did fire 7.2 innings in a one-run, eight strikeout win against the Marlins on July 17.

The Orioles will likely see a familiar face on the left side of the infield. Manny Machado has played mostly third base of late, and continues to make dazzling plays with his glove and his arm from the hot corner.

In two games against Baltimore earlier this season, Machado went 3-8 with a home run and two RBIs. After some wondered if Machado would receive boos upon his return, Baltimore provided Manny a warm welcome in Camden Yards. The O’s former top pick should have opportunities to do some damage against the Birds’ depleted bullpen.

Game 2 - Tuesday, 3:40 PM

TBD vs. Dinelson Lamet (0-2, 5.00)

Whether it’s Hess, Yacabonis or someone else on the mound for Baltimore, they’ll be facing Dinelson Lamet. Lamet has made four starts this season after recovering from Tommy John surgery. He made his season debut on July 4, and has not thrown more than five innings in any game. He pitched well enough in starts against Miami and New York, but did not last long enough to receive a decision.

The Orioles series against the Angels provided a high level of entertainment, and showed that it can still be fun to watch this team. Hopefully the Orioles starters, whoever they may be, pitch well enough to keep the Birds in the games.


How many games will the Orioles win in this series against the Padres?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    2 (Orioles sweep)
    (21 votes)
  • 45%
    (99 votes)
  • 44%
    Zero (Orioles get swept)
    (97 votes)
217 votes total Vote Now