Orioles go with 13-man staff, for now

Orioles go with 13-man staff

BALTIMORE -- Orioles manager Dave Trembley said the team will stick with its 13-man pitching staff for a while, feeling that it gives him some more options to make moves and use the bullpen better.

"I talked to [Orioles president of baseball operations] Andy [MacPhail] today, [and] we'll stay with the 13-man pitching staff," Trembley said. "I don't have a timetable on that, as far as how long that's going to be, but right now we have 13 men."

Trembley liked how he was able to match left-hander Jamie Walker and right-hander Chad Bradford up against a lefty and righty, respectively, in Monday's 4-3 win over the Blue Jays.

He feels the 13-man staff, which is a bit uncommon, helps him do that. In addition, Trembley said there's no question he can now put Walker and Bradford in situational roles in the crucial seventh inning.

"If we get those three outs in the seventh, then it allows us to mix and match with Bradford and Walker in the eighth," Trembley said. "It seemed to be a whole lot more comfortable situation to have Walker and Bradford in situational roles."

Trembley also said that he's expecting Orioles starters to pitch seven innings on a regular basis now. It didn't work out that way in Tuesday's game with the Blue Jays, as Steve Trachsel lasted just 2 1/3 innings, but Trembley said the starters will help decide the fate of the 13-man staff.

"Your starting pitching will dictate whether or not it becomes a plus or a minus," Trembley said. "I'd really like to be in a situation where some of those guys in the 'pen don't get as much work. That would really be telling me that the starting pitching is going farther in the game and deeper."

At the very worst, the 13-man staff gives the Orioles an extra arm, something they could use while their young pitchers find their way.

Although Trembley said he knows the consequences are losing one player on the bench, he's willing to give it time to see how things work with 13 pitchers.

"I think you have to play for a while and see where you're at," Trembley said. "I like what the 13-man pitching staff gives us right now, especially in the bullpen, and there's a sense of competition going on down there."

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.