SARASOTA, Fla. – Once Yovani Gallardo’s signing is official with the Orioles, he’ll join a staff of exclusively right-handed pitchers.
Gallardo will join Kevin Gausman, Miguel Gonzalez, Ubaldo Jimenez and Chris Tillman as starters.
“All right-handed starters in the big leagues better be able to defend themselves against left-handed hitters. Sometimes that separates them from being a starter or a reliever. And all left-handed have to be able to defend themselves against right-handers,” manager Buck Showalter said.
There were several contenders for the fifth starting spot: Odrisamer Despaigne, Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright and Vance Worley. Their chances to make the club narrow, and Showalter is sensitive to that.
“There’s a lot of things that can put some people that think it might affect them right back where they were. There’s a lot of things whether it be another move or injuries or what have you. You’ve got to keep grinding, and they will. They will. This is something they’ve been hearing and it’s not the first time it’s been there, but it’s something you need to be sensitive to,” Showalter said.
Showalter isn’t sure where Gallardo will be slotted in the rotation, but he’s researched it.
“I’ve looked at it ever since we thought it had a chance. You have to. You have to get ahead of it. We’ve already pulled up all our guys’ and the potential guys’ numbers versus opponents we face in April and against our division. We’ve got all of that. You could probably look at that and see where it might work. We do get to play with that in April before rain and a lot of other things get in the way. But as far as those things, I think that’s to be determined,” Showalter said.
A player will need to be removed from the 40-man roster to accommodate Gallardo. Even though the Orioles have 22 pitchers, Showalter doesn’t guarantee it will be a pitcher.
Either way, the decision that Showalter and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette makes will be hard.
“Dan asked me to poll around the coaches in the meeting in the morning which we’ve done the last couple of days. I’ve got what Dan’s thinking. We’re all looking at the same factors in it. We’ve got some guys who are out of options, some guys that have options,” Showalter said. “I don’t think it means it’s going to be a pitcher.”
NOTES: Infielders Paul Janish and Trey Mancini reported today as did outfielder Mark Trumbo. … Pitcher Todd Redmond remains absent due to a personal matter.
MORE ORIOLES: Orioles excited about adding Gallardo to mix