Orioles put Flaherty in bullpen; Hicks says cramp isn't bothering him. - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Orioles put Flaherty in bullpen; Hicks says cramp isn’t bothering him.

Photo Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

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HOUSTON—With his bullpen overused, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said that Jack Flaherty would be available in relief for Tuesday’s night game against the Houston Astros.

Flaherty is 1-3 with a 7.11 ERA in seven starts with the Orioles since he was obtained from the St. Louis Cardinals on August 1st.

“It’s a move for today right now,” Hyde said. “We have five starters. If we lose one, he’s back in.”

He’s pitched in relief four times in 129 major league appearances, and not since throwing an inning for the Cardinals last October 4th.

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“I’m really interested to see what it looks like,” Hyde said. “We’ve seen the fastball to 97. We’ve seen the sharp curveball, so let’s see what it looks like out of the ‘pen. Maybe he can be a piece for us, I don’t know. Whether he can be a length guy. Maybe he can be a right-on-right guy.

“We’re looking for that. We’re looking for right-on-right guys. I think it’s worth a shot, to take a look. He’s been such a pro about it. I’ve been talking to him about it the last few days as a possibility. He’s a total team guy. Really, really impressed with his professionalism. He really just wants to help this team win, somehow, and if he can do it that way, we’ll see.”

Kyle Bradish will start on Wednesday afternoon against Cristian Javier, and Grayson Rodriguez is scheduled to start for the Orioles on Thursday night at Cleveland.

Hicks better: Aaron Hicks, whose removal from the game began a set of machinations in the outfield for Hyde in the ninth inning on Monday night, says he’s feeling better and can play, though he’s not in the starting lineup.

Hicks, who was playing right field, had to leave because of a hamstring cramp.

“Pretty much when I was getting ready to slide into second base,” Hicks said. ‘It didn’t really feel that bad to me when it happened, but as soon as I was getting ready to run back on the field, it started to really happen. It was enough to where I couldn’t finish the inning.

“I’ve just got to hydrate and get things going a little quicker than normal. The last thing you want to happen is it to keep happening.”

Hicks has been on the 10-day injured list twice with lower back and hamstring injuries in his time with the Orioles.

First baseman Ryan Mountcastle hasn’t played since September 13th because of left shoulder soreness.

“Mountcastle’s a little better. I keep saying that every day, but it’s true,” Hyde said. “If we run out of first basemen tonight, I think I’ll be able to run him out there.”

Postseason roster: Hyde says the Orioles are just beginning to think about a roster for the postseason.

“I think you do a lot in pencil right now.” Hyde said. “We’re still playing for the division. That’s our main focus right now, to put our best roster out there, knowing that we have tough games ahead of us, a team right behind us. When we get to that point, we’ll get to that point. We’ll see where we look roster-wise. We’re trying to put our best team out there right now and try to win this thing.”

Award for Basallo: Catcher Samuel Basallo was named the Carolina League’s Most Valuable Player. Basallo hit .299 with 12 home runs, 60 RBI and an .887 OPS while with Single-A Delmarva. He was promoted to High-A Aberdeen and finished the season last weekend with Double-A Bowie.  

Note: The Orioles have gone 88 series without being swept, fourth longest in baseball history.

Call for questions: I’ll be answering Orioles questions this week. Please submit your questions to: [email protected].

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