ARLINGTON -- The Orioles will call on right-hander Mitch Atkins for Tuesday's start in Texas, as the other leading candidate, reliever Alfredo Simon, was used to pitch in Monday's 13-4 loss following starter Chris Jakubauskas' exit after two-plus innings.
Atkins, who was a non-roster invitee this spring, was sidelined all of camp with a left oblique strain and worked his way up to Triple-A Norfolk by the end of May. He's 2-3 with a 3.11 ERA in eight starts for the Tides, and is 3-6 with a 3.18 ERA in 14 starts -- spread over three affiliates -- this season.
The 25-year-old right-hander was on schedule to start on Tuesday and is already in Arlington, which made him the most logical choice to take the rotation spot vacated by Brian Matusz, who was demoted last week. Atkins appeared in five games for the Cubs last season -- all out of the bullpen -- pitching to a 6.30 ERA in 10 innings.
Since Atkins is not on the 40-man roster, the Orioles would have to select his contract and make a corresponding roster move to send someone out. Jakubauskas and reliever Pedro Viola are the two most likely candidates, although there's a possibility the team decides on a position player.