Depending on the day, Orioles manager Buck Showalter has as many as eight different starting options for his musical-chairs starting rotation. And rookie Steve Johnson has been plucked out of the mix to start the first game of Monday's doubleheader against the Blue Jays at Camden Yards.
Johnson hasn't made a start since a game against the Blue Jays on Aug. 25, pitching six innings of two-run, four-hit ball with seven strikeouts and two walks in a 8-2 win over Toronto.
Since that game against Toronto, Johnson has thrown five straight scoreless relief appearances, allowing just three hits in 11 innings. He last pitched Tuesday in Seattle, tossing three scoreless innings.
Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen is slated to start the second game of the doubleheader and left-hander Joe Saunders is slated to start Tuesday.
Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez is tentatively scheduled to start the Orioles' series finale against the Blue Jays on regular four days rest.
Gonzalez, who has thrown more than 200 innings this season, including 70 innings in the Mexican winter league, pitched on eight days rest Friday in Boston, holding the Red Sox to two runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings. This would be the first time he's worked on regular rest since Aug. 15.
"He feels good physically," Showalter said. "I wanted to see how he came out of that outing. He said that was as good as he’s felt in a long time. We shortened him up that game."