04/30/2013 10:26 PM ET
O's call up Clark, send Britton back to Triple-A
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
SEATTLE -- The Orioles optioned starter Zach Britton to Triple-A Norfolk prior to Tuesday's game, clearing a roster spot to recall pitcher Zach Clark and add him to the bullpen.
Britton started Monday's game and got the loss after allowing six earned runs on 10 hits and two walks over six innings. It was the first big league start of 2013 for the 25-year-old lefty, who was recalled last week.
"I don't consider myself a one-and-done guy, a spot [start] guy," Britton said. "I'd like to get an extended look, especially after having 10 days off [in between outings]. I'd like to hopefully get into my five-day routine and show them what I have been doing down there. I didn't feel I presented myself the best that I could. So I didn't expect for it to be a one-time shot, but I'm just going to keep going down there and throwing well and hopefully get another extended look."
Asked whether it was performance-based or need-based, Britton said the Orioles didn't specify, only that they needed a fresh arm for Tuesday and he was the odd man out.
"It's just frustrating," he said. "I felt like I threw well enough [for Triple-A Norfolk] that maybe I'd get an opportunity if there was a need. There was a need. Like I said, I would have liked to have maybe get a couple more starts and give it an opportunity. ... It was disappointing not to get an extended look."
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he thought Britton pitched OK on Monday and the decision was mostly based out of team need. The move to add Clark, who has been a starter at Triple-A, ensures the bullpen stays fresh and in good health.
"This isn't a charity case," Showalter said of the decision to go with the 29-year-old Clark, who will be making his Major League debut. "This guy deserves it. It happens to fall on his day [to start in Triple-A] and he's on the roster, but if he wasn't doing a good job, he's coming off a really good start and kind of back on his feet. We know he's not going to be scared and he's going to throw it over the plate."
Clark, who has spent eight years in the Minors, is 1-2 with a 4.56 ERA in five starts for Norfolk. Over those starts, he has allowed 30 hits and seven walks with 20 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings.
The Orioles also officially added catcher Chris Snyder and designated catcher Luis Exposito for assignment to clear a 40-man roster spot.
Showalter weighing bevy of options for rotation
SEATTLE -- With Tuesday's demotion of starter Zach Britton, the Orioles will need a starter for Friday or Saturday, likely coming from the Minors, with the exact day depending on whether they push back Miguel Gonzalez.
"We are going to wait and see how his workday goes," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Gonzalez, who will be given extra rest periodically this season. "If you are going to start anybody other than Zach [Clark] in that spot, you can start Zach any day, or you can take advantage and move somebody around."
Clark, who took the place of Britton on the active roster, is an option depending on how he is used. The 29-year-old was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk to join the bullpen Tuesday and Norfolk's other starters, including Freddy Garcia, Jair Jurrjens and Jake Arrieta, also could be in the mix. Garcia -- who was named the International League Pitcher of the Week for a pair of starts last week -- is a strong candidate and agreed Monday to have his opt-out extended to May 14.
Right-hander Steve Johnson, who was activated from the disabled list, is not a candidate because he was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk and will have to stay down in the Minors for a 10-day minimum unless it's an injury scenario. Johnson, who is coming off of a right lat injury, pitched OK for Norfolk in a rehab game Monday and according to Showalter "each one has gotten a little better."
As for the possibility that the team has a current reliever such as T.J. McFarland, Tommy Hunter or Brian Matusz, make a start, Showalter said: "Don't hold me to anything yet. We'll see. They are all in play. We will see. See what transpires."
Andino upbeat with M's, grateful for time in Baltimore
SEATTLE -- After Robert Andino was traded to Seattle this winter, the infielder made sure to thank manager Buck Showalter for the opportunity he received with the Orioles.
"Baltimore is basically where I started my career," said Andino, who spent parts of four years with the Orioles big league club and matured under Showalter's tutelage. "I got a lot of good memories in Baltimore."
Chief among them, at least for Orioles fans, was the final regular-season game of 2011, when Andino's walkoff hit kept the Boston Red Sox from advancing to the postseason. Andino grins when that night is brought up and said he's OK with his place in Orioles lore.
"It's cool," he said. "I did something for [the fanbase]. They showed me the love so I'm good with it."
Andino, who turned 29 on Thursday, is also at a good place in his baseball career and said he's happy in the Seattle organization and with the group of "great guys" he has as new teammates.
"You never know when you are going to get a fresh start," said Andino, who was sent to the Mariners in exchange for outfielder Trayvon Robinson in a deal on Nov. 20. "It could be good, could be bad. But I try not to think about the negatives and think about just the positives. And I'm all right."
Andino has gotten semi-regular playing time with the Mariners and went 1-for-3 with an RBI in Monday's game, serving as Seattle's second baseman. He is a career .234/.295/.321 hitter in parts of nine big league seasons, coming up through the Marlins system before he was traded to the Orioles in the spring of '09.
• Second baseman Brian Roberts (hamstring strain) hit against some soft toss and threw from 75 feet at the team's spring facility in Sarasota, Fla., on Tuesday and the Orioles remain optimistic he will be able to avoid getting moved to the 60-day disabled list.
• The Orioles don't have plans right now to move catcher Taylor Teagarden (dislocated thumb) to the 60-day DL. Teagarden saw hand specialist Dr. Brian Schofield on Tuesday and they should have a more definitive timetable for him when he gets out of the splint.
• Left-hander Joe Saunders, who is coming off a complete-game win over the Orioles on Monday night, said he really enjoyed his time with Baltimore and would have really liked to return. Discussions between the two sides never got a point where the Orioles offered any kind of deal and Saunders, who was rumored to be seeking a multi-year contract, ultimately signed a one-year pact with Seattle.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.