On Saturday, the Orioles will need a fifth starter, and for the third straight time in the rotation, it may be a new one.
Josh Stinson replaced Jake Arrieta, and after his four home runs in 5 2/3 innings, he went back to Norfolk. Zach Britton allowed six runs in six innings on Monday night, and that may not be good enough to merit a second start.
Freddy Garcia extended the opt-out clause in his contract until May 14, and he last pitched on Sunday. Garcia, who was named the International League Pitcher of the Week, could be the choice for Saturday, too.
It could even be Steve Johnson, who pitched creditably in his second rehab start on Monday night, though the Orioles might want to give him a third one before recalling him.
Meanwhile, Arrieta will probably have to stay at Norfolk for a while, especially with these relatively appetizing choices.
There’s also Jair Jurrjens who’s 2-1 with a 2.64 ERA. He has a mid-June opt-out clause. Jurrjens is scheduled to pitch for the Tides on Saturday, but maybe he pitches on Saturday in Anaheim against the Angels.
Britton, Garcia, Johnson and Jurrjens are all decent options for manager Buck Showalter, and that’s an example of why the Orioles depth in 2013 is far superior to last year’s.
NOTE: The Orioles officially optioned Luis Exposito to Norfolk after Monday night’s game. They’ll add Chris Snyder to the 40-man roster for Tuesday’s game.