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Ryan Flaherty decision puts Buck Showalter in tough spot

Ryan Flaherty decision puts Buck Showalter in tough spot

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – About 90 minutes before Monday night’s game, the Orioles still hadn’t announced who would be cut from the roster to make room for Kevin Gausman.

Buck Showalter seemed much more pensive than he usually is before moves. He doesn’t enjoy telling players they’re going to the minor leagues or being cut loose from the team, but this time he was dreading what was about to come up. 

Showalter asked a few reporters what they would do. That’s something he does occasionally. The team’s collective mind was already made up, and the answers given by reporters weren’t the correct ones, anyway. 

Surprisingly, the Orioles optioned Ryan Flaherty, a player who Showalter has found multiple uses for over his five seasons in Baltimore. 

Flaherty’s stay in Norfolk is likely to be brief. If someone goes to the disabled list, Flaherty won’t have to even spend the required 10 days with the Tides. 

The move was surprising because it leaves the ultra-prepared Showalter without a backup middle infielder. Monday’s bench consisted of backup catcher Caleb Joseph, who can play first and third and two pure outfielders Hyun Soo Kim and Nolan Reimold.

Showalter explained after the game that the move wasn’t because of anything Flaherty hadn’t done, and he’d probably move J.J. Hardy to second base if something happened to Schoop. 

His real fear was what if there was a relatively minor injury, one that didn’t require a trip to the DL. 

Showalter values defense, and it’s obvious the move, which temporarily leaves the Orioles with 13 pitchers uncomfortable. 

Too many five inning starts have left the Orioles bullpen, which has been extraordinarily effective, at risk. 

If the starters can’t go deep into games, the team must rely on T.J. McFarland and Vance Worley, two pitchers who seemed possible candidates to be lopped off the roster. 

During spring training, Showalter sometimes talks about hard decisions, but good hard decisions he has to make about the composition of the roster. 

Monday’s was a hard decision, to be sure, but not a good one. 

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Trey Mancini, the Orioles' lone bright spot, exits game after getting drilled with 92 MPH fastball

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Trey Mancini, the Orioles' lone bright spot, exits game after getting drilled with 92 MPH fastball

Trey Mancini, the Orioles' only hope at an All-Star, exited Baltimore's matinee against Oakland in the top of the first on Wednesday, after he was struck on the left elbow by a 92-mph fastball from the Athletics' starter Chris Bassitt.

Baltimore's Chris Davis pinch-ran for Mancini, who left the game almsot immediately after being hit. 

Baltimore announced on Twitter that Mancini exited the game with a left elbow contusion. 

Mancini, the Orioles' first baseman and outfielder, was a bright spot in a rather lackluster Baltimore lineup.

The only Oriole with a real chance at an All-Star selection, Mancini is batting .304 in 70 games and leads Baltimore with 84 hits, 18 doubles and 16 homers.

The 27 year-old also has one of the highest slugging percentages on the Orioles (.558).

Fans reacted with anguish on Twitter after Mancini exited the game.

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Orioles Roundup: Dwight Smith Jr. hitless in first rehab assignment

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Orioles Roundup: Dwight Smith Jr. hitless in first rehab assignment

The Orioles gave up six home runs in Tuesday night’s 16-2 loss to the Athletics in Oakland. Here are the latest news and notes.

Player Notes: 

  • In his first rehab game with Triple-A Norfolk, Dwight Smith Jr. (concussion) was hitless in four at-bats with two strikeouts and groundouts each. Smith Jr. played all 8.5 innings of Norfolk’s loss to the RailRiders.

  • In 5 and ⅓ innings pitched against Oakland Tuesday night, Gabriel Ynoa gave up seven hits and six runs (three home runs). He surfaces with a 5.65 ERA in five starts and nine relief appearances.

  • Rio Ruiz has sunk from starting third baseman to potential DFA candidate. Ruiz went 0-for-3 against the A’s on Tuesday and has gone 9-for-58 in nearly one month (since May 21).

Injuries:

  • RHP Josh Lucas (shoulder): 10-day IL, out indefinitely

  • OF Dwight Smith Jr. (concussion): 7-day IL, set to return June 20

  • OF DJ Stewart (ankle): 10-day IL, out indefinitely

  • SP Alex Cobb (back): 60-day IL, returns in 2020

  • SP Nate Karns (arm): 60-day IL, out indefinitely

  • DH Mark Trumbo (knee): 60-day IL, out indefinitely

Coming Up: 

Wednesday, 6/19: Orioles @ Athletics, 3:37 p.m. ET, Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

Thursday, 6/20: Orioles @ Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET, T-Mobile Park

Friday, 6/21: Orioles @ Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET, T-Mobile Park

Source: Rotoworld

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