BALTIMORE—After the Orioles returned left-hander Drew Rom to Triple-A Norfolk following Wednesday’s game, they had a roster spot available and, as he did many times last season, Nick Vespi, another left-hander, replaced him on the roster.
Vespi is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA and three saves in 12 games for Norfolk. In his stints with the Orioles last season, Vespi was 5-0 with a 4.10 ERA and a save.
“After the offday, we feel like our bullpen is in fairly good shape,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “More of a shorter reliever than a longer guy.”
Vespi said he felt good throwing at Norfolk. He had a late start in spring training because of January hernia surgery.
“I felt strong coming off the injury,” Vespi said. “I feel back to normal now … It took a couple of times on the mound to feel back to back to normal. Got my feet wet and started pitching again.”
Vespi was part of a strong team in Norfolk.
“The vibe is great. We were winning a lot of ballgames,” Vespi said. “People are playing well. They’re feeding off one another. They’re playing good baseball.”
The Orioles’ bullpen has a 3.12 ERA, fifth-best in the majors.
“Hopefully, I can keep doing what they’ve been doing,” Vespi said.
He isn’t surprised by the success of Yennier Cano, who has given up just three hits in 18 2/3 scoreless innings.
“He’s an unbelievable pitcher,” Vespi said. “He’s hot right now. He’s doing well. Keep doing what he’s doing.”
Last season, Vespi didn’t allow an earned run in 32 innings for Norfolk, but he has given up four this season.
“It was going to happen eventually,” Vespi said. “It happened, and now we move on.”
Urías working out: Infielder Ramón Urías, who is on the 10-day injured list because of a strained left hamstring muscle, has remained with the club since his injury on Monday night.
“He’s doing well. I actually walked past him in the weight room doing his rehab,” Hyde said. “The timetable’s still the same. It’s going to be two-to-three weeks. He’s progressing extremely well. Right now, he’s getting a ton of treatment, doing some exercises in the weight room, but hasn’t done anything besides that.”
Givens closer: Reliever Mychal Givens, who pitched in back-to-back outings for Double-A Bowie at Harrisburg, was in the clubhouse, but he hasn’t been activated.
Givens remains on the 15-day injured list because of a left knee injury.
“I think he’s pretty close. We might try to give him another outing,” Hyde said. “We’re going to monitor it.”
No magic number for Rodriguez: Grayson has thrown 33 2/3 innings in his seven starts for the Orioles. Last year, when he missed three months because of a lat strain, he pitched only 75 2/3 innings.
The Orioles haven’t established an innings limit for Rodriguez, according to Hyde,
“We’re going to monitor as the second half goes along,” Hyde said. “Hopefully, he can make all his starts, and if he can we’ll go from there and see where he is compared with what his last couple of years in the minor leagues were like.”
In 2021, Rodriguez pitched 103 innings for Norfolk.
“As of now we don’t have any restrictions on him,” Hyde said. “If he can go eight, I’m going to let him go eight, but I think as the second half comes, and we see where he is innings-wise, we’ll make the decisions from there.
“There’s a lot that factors into that, stressful innings. Right now, we haven’t put a number on how many innings we’re going to cap at.”
Hyde said the Orioles don’t want to stop him from pitching in the middle of a playoff push.
“I definitely wouldn’t want to shut him down in September,” he said. ‘There’s not a hard number right now. We’ll see how the second half goes.”
Hyde taking a day off: Hyde will leave after Friday night’s game for a drive to Syracuse to attend his daughter Aria’s graduation. He wore a Syracuse sweatshirt to his pregame media session.
Bench coach Fredi González, who managed the Braves and Marlins, will fill in for Hyde on Saturday night.
“He already gave me a list of bullpen guys I can’t use tonight,” Hyde said, laughing.
Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB