SARASOTA, Fla. – Buck Showalter named Jason Hammel, Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez to pitch the first three games against Tampa Bay next week.
On Thursday, he said that Chris Tillman, who’ll pitch against State College of Florida on Friday will be the fifth starter and face Minnesota at Oriole Park on Apr. 6, but about 45 minutes before game time, they put Tillman on the disabled list with an abdominal strain.
Tillman’s move is retroactive to March 22, and he can still pitch on Friday because those games don’t count as major league contests.
That leaves the identity of the starter in the home opener to be determined, and Showalter said that he would reveal the fourth starter on Friday.
The odds are that Jake Arrieta will be the starter for the home opener on Apr. 5. It would be the third consecutive year that Arrieta started the home opener. Last year, the home opener was the first game of the season.
Showalter says that he’s decided on the final composition of the team, but the Orioles have until 3 p.m. on Sunday to finalize their roster.
“We know which way we’re going,” he said.
Tillman’s move most likely means that Rule 5 draft pick T.J. McFarland will make the team, and it buys them another six days to make a move.
The Orioles also reassigned outfielder Trayvon Robinson to minor league camp, giving them 32 players in camp including five non-roster invitees.
Wilson Betemit, Tsuyoshi Wada and Tillman will start the season on the disabled list. That means that four more players must be cut.