Fans won’t have to wait long to see the Orioles’ new trade acquisitions playing for the club.
Manager Buck Showalter said Tuesday that infielder/outfielder Steve Pearce will start Wednesday – at a position not yet determined — and that left-handed pitcher Wade Miley most likely will make his debut by starting Thursday’s series finale against the Texas Rangers.
The Orioles initially had listed right-hander Yovani Gallardo as the probable starter for Thursday, but Showalter said he wanted Miley, who last pitched Saturday for the Seattle Mariners, to stay close to his rotation turn. That determination will be made after he has a workday today.
“Looking like Thursday. Just want to make sure,” Showalter said of Miley. “Pitched Saturday, threw 92 pitches, seven innings. I want to try and keep him on schedule.”
Showalter said he wasn’t sure whether Gallardo would be pushed back to Friday or another day. That, he said, will be depends on some other starters and their workdays. He said the club could consider going to a six-man rotation, but that’s not currently in the plans.
“We’re going to take a look at it,” he said. “There’s that potential, but right now, I don’t see it. But it could change.”
For Tuesday’s game, Showalter said Ubaldo Jimenez, who started last Thursday, will be in the bullpen in case he is needed.
As for Pearce, Showalter said he expects to use him all over the diamond, in the infield and the outfield. The right-handed-hitting Pearce will play against lefty Cole Hamels on Wednesday, Showalter said.
It’s very possible Pearce will get starts in left in place of Hyun Soo Kim when the club is facing a left-hander, the way the team did when Joey Rickard was healthy. But Showalter wasn’t committing to that.
“I’m not sure where we’re at. We’ll use (Pearce) today off the bench. We’ll get our arms around him,” Showalter said. “He’s got a couple of nagging things. He’s played like five out of the last seven days. I know he’s going to get a little break off the (Tropicana Field) turf. I know he’s kind of excited about that. He’ll be in the lineup (Wednesday).”
To make room on the 25-man roster, the Orioles demoted relievers Tyler Wilson and Odrisamer Despaigne to Triple-A Norfolk. That gives the Orioles a four-man bench, but only a seven-man bullpen. He said he seriously considered keeping eight relievers, but decided against it.
“A lot. A lot. We really would have liked to (have 13 pitchers),” he said. “There are (ways) we could have stayed at 13, things (done) that we could have stayed at 12 (hitters). I think we know with the schedule the way it is, it’s going to be hard to stay at 12 (pitchers).”
There’s going to one obvious move in the next few weeks. Miley’s wife is eight-months pregnant, so he’ll be going on paternity leave at some point. Showalter joked that maybe Miley and catcher Matt Wieters, whose wife is also expecting soon, could go on the leave at the same time for efficiency sake.