Trembley touches on rotation after break
Skipper lays out starters for Chicago set, mum on Hill's future
BALTIMORE -- Manager Dave Trembley grudgingly discussed his pitching plans for the second half Sunday, but he bristled when asked about Rich Hill's immediate future. Trembley laid out his rotation for the first series after the break, but he only gave one starter for the second series, prompting questions about Hill's fate.
Trembley set up that situation a week earlier, when he said the Orioles would re-evaluate Hill's role over the All-Star break. But Sunday, when asked about that subject, he acted as if it didn't exist. Trembley lauded Hill for pitching well Saturday night, and said he doesn't plan on tabbing a reliever to make his next start.
"I don't have to talk about what my rotation is in New York," said Trembley. "I don't know what my other options are. I don't have six starters. I have five starters, and I just don't know when guys are going to pitch. I know [David] Hernandez is going to pitch the first day in New York, and after that, I don't know who's pitching."
That was neither a vote of confidence or of scrutiny for Hill, whose role will be left up in the air until next week. Trembley did divulge his plans for the Chicago series -- which runs Friday-Sunday -- saying that he would turn to Jason Berken, Jeremy Guthrie and Brad Bergesen against the White Sox. After that, it's Hernandez and a mystery starter in New York for a three-game set beginning July 20.
There has been talk that the Orioles may be willing to promote top pitching prospect Chris Tillman after the All-Star break, but that may be more of an August thing than a mid-July deal. As for Hill's next rotation turn, Trembley said he would discuss the situation with pitching coach Rick Kranitz over the All-Star break.
"Kranny's going to call me when he gets home and let me know what he's doing in New York," said Trembley, referring to the last two games of the series. "But I believe that's what it is in Chicago: Berken, Guthrie, Bergesen."
Perhaps the only surprise in that initial trio is Guthrie, Baltimore's Opening Day starter. The right-hander has been slowed by a viral infection in recent days, but Trembley thinks he's healthy enough to pitch.
"He's getting some more tests tomorrow," said Trembley. "But I'm confident with the amount of improvement he's made that he's going to be OK. I'm hoping that's the case, and that's kind of the direction I'm leaning."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.