Dana Eveland is starting tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays, meaning the Orioles have to make 40-man and 25-man roster moves.
They are waiting until Dr. John Wilckens gets to the park and conducts an examination or two before a move will be announced, according to Orioles manager Buck Showalter.
Basically, that means the club wants to see how starter Jason Hammel’s right knee is progressing and whether he might have to go on the disabled list.
Hammel said he is improving and he is optimistic he can make a start – whether it is Monday or Tuesday.
Here’s where it gets complicated. If Hammel is looking like an eventual DL situation, then the Orioles can send down Tommy Hunter, who pitched yesterday’s nightcap. Because if Hammel has to go on the DL – which is not anticipated at this point – then Hunter could be recalled before the requisite 10 days.
The Orioles wouldn’t mind having Hunter remain with the team anyway as insurance in case Eveland or Brian Matusz have rough starts. If Hunter is sent down now, he couldn’t replace one of those pitchers for 10 days.
Given that scenario – Hunter staying – reliever Stu Pomeranz may be the most likely to be demoted back to Triple-A Norfolk.
One thing is for sure: The Orioles won’t be demoting a position player. They have just a three-man bench as it is.
As for the 40-man, there are several candidates, but Showalter said he doesn’t anticipate the club placing either Brian Roberts or Zach Britton on the 60-day DL – though it can be backdated to March – at this time.
That means a minor leaguer could be designated for assignment. It’s tough speculating on this because you are talking about people potentially losing their jobs, but there are several guys on the 40-man who are not producing in the minors. So the decision shouldn’t be excruciating.
In other team news, Showalter said Reimold (neck) received an epidural in his spine today. There’s no set timetable for his return, but Showalter said May 16, the first day he would be eligible to return, does not look attainable for Reimold at this point.
Tsuyoshi Wada (elbow) had Tommy John surgery today in California. Showalter was waiting for specifics.
Former Oriole Luke Scott is batting cleanup for the Rays tonight. Met up with him before the game. He’s the same old cheery guy, but he is sporting exceptionally long sideburns that stop at either side of his chin – Wolverine style.
And Ravens safety Ed Reed took batting practice and shagged balls in the outfield. He made a strong throw to second – slightly off the mark – and hit a ball to the warning track. Both his Achilles look great, so no need to worry, Ravens fans.