SARASOTA, Fla. – Mike Wright has won the Orioles’ fourth starter job. Manager Buck Showalter has told the 26-year-old right-hander that he’ll get the start on Apr. 8 against Tampa Bay.
“Mike won the job. Mike pitched well this spring, and had a great year last year in Triple-A. It’s his time. I don’t know how much simpler you can make it,” Showalter said.
Wright is 2-2 with a 4.79 ERA in six spring starts. He’s allowed 11 runs on 23 hits in 20 2/3 innings.
He was 3-5 with a 6.04 ERA in 12 games with the Orioles last season.
Wright will stay in Florida until Saturday when he will pitch in a minor league game.
Showalter hasn’t decided on the final member of the rotation. Kevin Gausman will begin the season on the disabled list, so it could be Tyler Wilson, who was told he made the club.
“I’ve got a strong lean, but it could change. We’re going to leave ourselves some [room]. That fifth starter’s not needed until the 10th, so the options to pitch game five will be available in the bullpen for a few days,” Showalter said.
“We’ll see how we’re going to use Tyler yet, but Tyler made the club. I told him today. That was fun. Now, the fun ones go away.”
Gausman and Brian Matusz will start the season on the disabled list, and assuming Showalter is going with 12 pitchers to start the season, two spots are unaccounted for.
T.J. McFarland, Zach Phillips, Chaz Roe and Vance Worley are the leading contenders for the final two spots.
“I don’t have anything undecided right now, but some variables come into play that changes, I don’t want to make where we are right now apparent because it could change. We all know what’s floating around the waiver wire right now. There’s a lot of good players that people just couldn’t carry. There’s a name that comes across, seems like every half hour, that we consider,” Showalter said.
“It’s always tough this time of year. You’ve got somebody you’ve been with all spring and feel like you’ve got a pretty good feel for it and taking somebody that someone feels like is that much better, potentially. That’s a tough call. It really is. We look at all of them as we come across. I like the guys we got. I like where we are,” Showalter said.
NOTES: Showalter met with Hyun Soo Kim for a third time in an attempt to persuade the South Korean to accept a demotion to Triple-A Norfolk. There’s no indication the solution is any closer to resolution. The Orioles have until midday Sunday to set their roster.
“There’s some things going around that everybody’s considering, just some options there. We’ll bring that to pass at some point. We all know what Sunday at noon means,” Showalter said.
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