NEW YORK—The Orioles’ game with the New York York Yankees Monday was postponed because of unplayable field conditions. The announcement was made about two hours and 15 minutes after the scheduled 6:35 p.m. starting time.
When the rain stopped, the Yankees announced a starting time of 7:45 p.m. As that time came and went, the Yankee Stadium grounds crew was feverishly trying to dry the field.
Orioles manager Brandon Hyde and Yankees manager Aaron Boone conferred on the field with the umpires while leaf blowers and rakes tried to make the field playable.
After the dugouts and bullpens emptied, the announcement of the postponement was made. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday beginning at 3:05 p.m.
Andrew Cashner will start for the Orioles on Tuesday. The pitchers for Wednesday’s doubleheader have yet to be determined. It’s the fourth postponement of the season for the Orioles.
Hyde patient with Nunez: Renato Nunez has been in an awful slump, but he’s still in the Orioles’ starting lineup. Nunez drove in his 18th run of the year on April 24. Since then, he hasn’t driven home a run and his average has dropped from .301 to .221.
Nunez has gone 4-for-52 with 22 strikeouts. Hyde is concerned but is continuing to give Nunez a chance to work through it.
“I think it becomes worrisome when you see that he’s defeated-looking,” Hyde said. “Right now, he’s still swinging the bat aggressive, too aggressive. He’s trying to come out of it instead of letting the game happen.”
Hyde wants to see Nunez concentrate on each pitch “instead of trying to do so many things at once and trying to burst this bubble of having a tough time by just squaring one up and hitting one into the upper deck.”
Nunez showed formidable power early in his season when he hit six home runs in his first 24 games. Hyde would like to see Nunez use the whole field instead of trying to pull everything.
“He’s still competing at the plate,” Hyde said. “I think once you start to see it’s too much to handle, then you start to worry. But right now, I don’t see that.”
Castro’s scoreless streak: Right-handed reliever Miguel Castro had a terrible start to his season. He gave up four runs on April 22, when he allowed five hits, walked two batters and recorded just two outs. His ERA soared to 10.80.
Since then, Castro has reeled off six scoreless appearances, and thrown 7 1/3 innings, allowing five hits, striking out nine and walking two.
His ERA is still too high at 6.63, but he’s happy with the progress he’s made.
“I think it’s a credit to the work I’m putting out there,” Castro said through a translator.
“I continue to work. You’re going to have ups and downs throughout the season, confidence in myself and my pitches. Things have been working out pretty well lately.”
Hyde has been hoping for setup relievers to bridge the gap to closer Mychal Givens, and Castro knows that there’s a difference now.
“I’m getting on top of my pitches better now, which allows me to command the baseball so much better,” Castro said.
Castro and Givens are the most experienced relievers in a bullpen that includes Shawn Armstrong, Paul Fry, Branden Kline, Yefry Ramirez, Jimmy Yacabonis and Gabriel Ynoa.
“It’s a good experience,” Castro said. “It’s always good to have young guys down there. There are opportunities if you work hard. You will receive opportunities and continue to stay here, so hopefully we can all do a good job throughout the season.”
Getting an extra bench player: Except for the season’s first week, the Orioles have gone with 13 pitchers and three bench players. Hyde would prefer 12 pitchers and four bench players, but short starts haven’t helped.
In their last seven games, the Orioles have gotten four starts that were at least six innings. John Means’ two most recent starts have been six and seven innings. Dylan Bundy threw 7 1/3 innings on May 4, and Andrew Cashner threw six on May 8.
“I would love to see our starters continue that,” Hyde said. “It’s really hard to do when two or three starters go 4 2/3 or 4 1/3 or whatever it may be. It’s just hard to not carry that extra pitcher.
“I’d love to have that consistent run where we’re getting at least the fifth, the sixth, hopefully the seventh. We also have 20 in a row, too. It’s hard without an off-day in there unless you’re getting a lot of length from your starters.”
The Orioles will get an extra bench player when they play a three-game series without the designated hitter in Denver May 24-26 when they play the Colorado Rockies.
Waiting on Cobb: Alex Cobb has been on the 10-day injured list since April 27 with a strained back. It’s his third trip to the IL, and he’s recently gone to Sarasota.
“He’s starting his rehab … pretty soon,” Hyde said. “I think we’re pretty iffy on the timetable of it.”