With right-hander Steve Johnson -- who last pitched on Thursday -- serving as the long man, manager Buck Showalter said the Orioles will continue to operate on a day-to-day basis. They are trying to keep their bullpen healthy and productive while also waiting to see if first baseman Mark Reynolds incurs any kind of suspension for his ejection on Friday.
"I'd like to have the extra position player and the extra player, but they [have] to go to [26-player rosters] to do it," Showalter said prior to Sunday's 7-5 series-clinching win against Detroit. "It's what's best for our team right now."
Showalter was also tossed in Friday's game. While it's unlikely Reynolds will get more than a fine, a suspension is still a possibility -- one that would almost certainly force the Orioles to get another position player. For now, the team will continue to carry an extra arm to add length in the bullpen and help keep anyone from being overused. The O's are heading into a three-game series against the Rangers, and keeping Johnson will help ensure they are covered in the event of a short start.
It seems likely the team will also keep Britton with the big league club, although what they will do with the rotation following Thursday's day off is unclear. The Orioles could opt to stay with a five-man rotation and give each pitcher an extra day of rest, or option a pitcher and add either a reliever or another bench player.
"We know how we are going the first two days in Texas," said Showalter, whose club will play 17 consecutive days starting on Friday.
Of Johnson's fate and whether the organization would prefer to stretch him back out as a starter in the Minors, Showalter said: "It's kind of wait until the smoke clears a little bit after Wednesday, probably, and we will see what's best for us and Steve. It's one and the same. That's why I didn't feel comfortable with him, didn't think it was best for him and our club to start that ... one day. He's been pitching too well to [have] something ... back that up.
"He will stay active. We will keep him active. Maybe not always in the game, but keep the ball in his hand. He's in a good place right now. We want to keep that."