5/13/2014 12:12 A.M. ET
O's pitchers get ready for NL play with BP
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
BALTIMORE -- Orioles pitchers took batting practice prior to Monday's game, which manager Buck Showalter called "always quite entertaining," as they prepare for a pair of games in Pittsburgh next week.
The O's, who will play the Pirates following next Monday's off-day, have some National League experience among their rotation with both Ubaldo Jimenez and Bud Norris starting their careers in the NL and pitching there for numerous seasons.
"Always try to pick out one guy in the bullpen, kind of as a safety valve that's not a one-inning guy [to hit]," said Showalter, who designated lefty Zach Britton to do it on Monday. "Now I got some guys fighting me. They already have."
Having Britton, who entered Monday with a 0.84 ERA, hit next week might not be a bad thing. The lefty owns a career .625 batting average (5-for-8), including a homer and two RBIs -- all from 2011, when he was a starter.
O's recall righty Guilmet to bolster bullpen
BALTIMORE -- Seeking to add some right-handed arms to their bullpen against Detroit, the Orioles recalled Preston Guilmet from Triple-A Norfolk prior to Monday night's series opener.
Guilmet takes the roster spot of T.J. McFarland, who was optioned after Sunday's game, and he was used right away. The righty tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings after starter Bud Norris was ejected in Baltimore's 4-1 loss.
"Very much as described, and not only by our scouts, but our Triple-A [staff]," manager Buck Showalter said.
"Deceptive delivery, can defend himself against left-handed hitters because of the split. [They] probably don't see him real well. Like I said beforehand, there's not many people in these 24 pitchers tonight who have a better Minor League resume than Guilmet. Just a matter if he can get an opportunity to see if he can carry it over to the next level. He's had a very short look at this level."
Acquired in a spring trade with Cleveland in exchange for infielder Torsten Boss, Guilmet has appeared in 12 games for Norfolk, allowing nine earned runs -- six of which came in one outing -- on 11 hits and four walks with 17 strikeouts over 14 1/3 innings.
Guilmet had made four previous Major League appearances, all last season for Cleveland, posting a 10.13 ERA over 5 1/3 innings.
"I think I can help out with whatever is needed," Guilmet said before the game. "Just try to come up here and help out wherever they need me."
Clevenger has impressed O's behind the plate
BALTIMORE -- Steve Clevenger made his 12th start of the season behind the plate on Monday night, a sight that will be more common for the Orioles with starter Matt Wieters placed on the disabled list (right elbow discomfort) on Sunday.
And while manager Buck Showalter was frank about executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette also exploring external options, the O's have been impressed with how Clevenger has fared.
"There was some unknown and he exceed expectations, I shouldn't say expectations, but in Spring Training we were really happy he could be that guy," Showalter said of Clevenger, who won the backup job this spring. "He was really engaged in catching. We've had some guys in the past that were all about their offense. They were driving in one and letting in two or three by their decisions."
Clevenger, who loaded his iPad up with tape of all of the organization's pitchers before the 2013 season ended, studied up this winter, and it showed with an impressive spring. But filling in for the everyday guy -- and an All-Star in Wieters -- is a tall task.
"It's unreasonable to expect us to fill Matt Wieters' shoes and find a Gold Glove-caliber catcher in-season," Duquette said of the O's search for catching. "But these guys [in Clevenger and Caleb Joseph] have been good for us so far. They've done a nice job."
Added Showalter: "There's still some unknown with [Clevenger]. What's it going to be like to catch five, six days in a row?
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.