There’s nobody more skilled at manipulating the 25 and 40-man rosters than Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette. Look no further than the circumstances that allowed them to bring Steve Pearce back off of waivers earlier this season. (And for those of you who like seeing the Baltimore Orioles frustrate division opponents, you should know that there’s at least one AL East team with whom that set of circumstances doesn’t sit well.) That’s all working on the Orioles’ side in that they’re having to show some roster nimbleness in advance of today’s doubleheader.
Starter Bud Norris does in fact appear to be headed to the DL after an MRI yesterday showed a slight strain in his right groin. Buck Showalter pretty much said that he needs some additional rest – and he’ll get it, on the DL.
Kevin Gausman was already going to be recalled this morning in advance of the doubleheader as the 26th man on the roster (allowed for doubleheaders). The plan was to send him back down immediately after the first game, however that’s something that’s very much in question now given the fact that the Orioles have an opportunity to keep him up indefinitely due to the fact that Norris is injured. So basically, if Gausman is the corresponding move for Bud Norris, he doesn’t have to go back down.
The Orioles have called Evan Meek up from Norfolk as well, so it’s very possible that he’ll end up being the 26th man, and thus sent back down following the afternoon cap of the twin bill. On another front, Nolan Reimold (remember him?) has to be added to the 25-man roster or be exposed to waivers by the end of the weekend. If he clears waivers, the O’s could send him to the minors or he could choose to become a free agent. These types of moves are always gambles because once he’s on waivers another team could claim him. But given his injury history, would that happen?
The O’s will open up what’s now a four-game series with Tampa with the aforementioned doubleheader today. Game one will begin at 1 PM, and feature Gausman pitching against Alex Colome. Game two will be the previously scheduled game at 7 PM with Chris Tillman facing off against Jake Odorizzi. The afternoon game is the makeup for a game that was rained out earlier this season, so it’s a split admission doubleheader; you’ll need a ticket for each game.
For those of you asking, yes in fact yesterday was an off day for both teams. So why not play the makeup game yesterday instead of a doubleheader today? Teams can only have so many consecutive days in a row without a scheduled day off according to the collective bargaining agreement. Tampa was right up against that threshold on Wednesday, so the league didn’t have the capability of scheduling the game yesterday.