Wade Miley’s left arm lives to start another day this season.
That’s basically what Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Thursday.
Sunday’s starter against the Tampa Bay Rays had been listed as TBA since Miley’s disaster in Boston in which he allowed six runs and recorded just four outs to push his ERA to 8.41 in eight starts for the Orioles.
Showalter cleared up that pending decision on Thursday – sort of.
“We’re leaning towards Miley (for Sunday),” Showalter said. “Gotta wait and see how we get through the next three days. And what we have available, but he’ll proceed like he is starting Sunday with his workday and everything.”
Showalter wouldn’t get into specifics on the decision, but he gave reporters enough to connect the dots.
He’d like to give an extra day of rest to both Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy.
“That had a lot to do with it, and Tillman,” Showalter said. “I gave an extra day here (if possible). We can’t get ahead of ourselves with those guys.”
Plus, by having Miley pitch against the last-place Rays, that allows Showalter to have Bundy and Gausman to pitch the first two games of the crucial Red Sox series that begins Monday.
“Not necessarily, but we could,” Showalter said. “I’m not going to overlook somebody we’re playing.”
In his career, Miley, who was acquired in a trade with Seattle on July 31, has pitched well against the Rays. He is 4-2 with a 2.81 ERA in eight starts. So that, too, may play into the thinking.
“It’s some of it. But it’s just looking at all of the options. It could change between now and then, but that’s where we are today,” Showalter said. “There are a lot of different factors. Once again, I’m not going to publicly put out there every little factor we figured into it.”
I, however, am on record as saying it is a mistake. Miley simply hasn’t pitched well and, at this point in the year, I’d put the pitcher out there that has the best chance of winning on a given day. If you have to stick with a six-man rotation, I’d rather see Vance Worley get the start.
But, then again, I haven’t won three Manager of the Year Awards, either.
Pearce news isn’t encouraging
Steve Pearce had a plasma-rich-platelet injection in his right elbow/forearm and said he expects to avoid baseball activities for 10 days. With 17 games remaining, that means the chance for Pearce to return before the season ends seems slim at best.
“We’ve got to take care what’s going on right now,” Pearce said. “At this point, we’re just trying to get this thing under control and finish out the season.”
When Showalter was asked about the shrinking timeline, he said that he and athletic trainer Richie Bancells have talked about the possibility of Pearce returning before the Oct. 2 season-ender. And it’s easy to read between the lines again that the prospects aren’t bright.
“We talked about the reality of Pearce (returning),” Showalter said. “We’ve got a good feel for it, what it means for Steve for the rest of the season.”
Rickard may not be back soon either
Joey Rickard (thumb) will play Friday and Saturday in Sarasota, and could be back Monday. But Showalter was hesitant to say that will happen.
“I don’t want to get too fast on Rickard, either,” Showalter said. “See how he comes out of (Saturday). … Trying to get an idea. Don’t want to move too fast, but we’re hopeful for Monday. We’ll see.”
A few more moves
Right-hander Mike Wright is back up – and will be in a middle relief role this time around. Paul Janish has been added to the roster and will serve as a utility infielder. Lefty Chris Lee (shoulder) has been moved to the 60-day DL to make room for Janish. It’s a procedural move, but it also means Lee will begin getting paid a prorated amount of the major league minimum and big league service time.