BOSTON—Needing a fresh arm for the bullpen, the Orioles optioned left-hander Keegan Akin to Triple-A Norfolk and recalled right-hander Logan Gillaspie from Norfolk on Monday before their game against the Boston Red Sox.
The Orioles said the move was made because of matchups with Boston and New York and isn’t about Akin’s performance. Akin’s season is effectively finished unless another pitcher is placed on the 15-day injured list because pitchers optioned must stay off the major league roster for 15 days.
Akin was 3-3 with a 3.60 earned-run and two saves. The left-hander started the season strong in the bullpen but has faded and is 1-2 with an 8.31 ERA in September.
Gillaspie has a 3.75 ERA in 13 games in previous stints with the Orioles and was on the Orioles’ taxi squad with another right-hander, Beau Sulser, and catcher Cam Gallagher. Sulser has a 3.97 ERA in five games.
Orioles fans: Gallagher was acquired on waivers from the San Diego Padres on September 11th after the Kansas City Royals traded for him on August 2nd. He hit .240 in 171 games with the Royals over the past six seasons. He played for San Diego’s Triple-A Reno team before the Padres waived him.
“It’s been a little hectic to say the least,” Gallagher said. “It’s been a learning experience for sure, but at the end of the day, it’s still the same game. Looking to contribute any way I can. I know I’m here for the taxi squad right now. I’m going to keep working. If my name gets called, I’ll be ready. If not, I’ll still be ready.”
Gallagher grew up not far from Baltimore in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and said he rooted for the Orioles and the Phillies. As a young man, he caught throwing sessions in the offseason for former Orioles left-hander Mark Hendrickson.
“I grew up watching Cal Ripken play,” Gallagher said. “It’s cool to be back in the East Coast. My family is close by, so that’s good.”
Gallagher was a second-round pick of the Royals in 2011 and had been with the organization until last month.
“You get used to the same guys,” he said. “You learn something about yourself. You learn new relationships. You form relationships. Being here so far, everybody’s been open, welcoming me in. It’s been an easy transition so far.”
Gallagher met Adley Rutschman when Oregon State trained in Surprise, Arizona, where the Royals hold spring training.
“We were hitting on the field, and he was around the cage, and he was around just talking with some of our coaches,” Gallagher said. “I got to talk to him a little bit, and he seems like a good guy. Looking forward to gaining a relationship with some of these guys and him, in particular.”
“I’ve seen him play with Kansas City,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He does a nice job behind the plate. We usually bring [an extra] catcher on a road trip. We decided to take Cam with us. Anything can happen down the stretch, so anything can happen.”
Urias, Vavra hurt: For the third time in four games, infielder Ramón Urías isn’t in the lineup because of neck spasms. He was scratched from Friday’s lineup, left Saturday’s game after seven innings and didn’t play on Sunday.
Terrin Vavra, who’s dealing with hamstring soreness, is also out of the lineup against the Red Sox. Vavra left Sunday’s game after six innings.
“It’s feeling better,” Urías said. “Still have a little tenderness. I think I’m available tonight off the bench.”
Urías said he felt the spasms when he was in the shower and reached for a towel. He felt them against on Saturday when he singled.
“As soon as I made contact, it grabbed me,” he said.
Hyde hopes Urías can play down the stretch. “He is feeling better today than he was yesterday,” he said.
Vavra’s hamstring injury could take longer to heal.
Henderson slumping: Rookie Gunnar Henderson is in an 0-for-16 slump. After his hot start, Henderson is batting .276 with three home runs and 15 RBIs.
“He’s done a great job so far,” Hyde said. “He faced an outstanding pitching staff with Houston and it doesn’t get much easier here with Boston. Every young player, every player, is going to have tough games and I think he’s going to bounce back. He’s a tough kid. He’s going to deal with adversity fine, and I expect him to have a good series this series.”
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB