DETROIT -- Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel’s slow-but-steady recovery from a stomach virus forced to the club to push Hammel’s scheduled start back for a second straight day on Monday.
Hammel, who rejoined the team Sunday after being away for two days, was initially scheduled to start Monday’s series opener in Detroit, but the club pushed him back a day, giving right-hander Jake Arrieta a spot start against the Tigers.
And on Monday, the Orioles — seeing that Hammel still hadn’t regained his strength — pushed Hammel back again.
Before Monday’s game, the Orioles announced they would call up left-hander Zach Britton to make Tuesday’s start against Detroit. Britton had been scratched from his scheduled start at Triple-A Norfolk on Sunday and wasn’t listed on the Tides upcoming starting pitcher probables.
Britton, who opened the season in Norfolk after he didn’t win the team’s No. 5 starter spot, made one previous start with the Orioles this season, allowing six runs on 10 hits over six innings in a 6-2 loss in Seattle on April 29.
The 25-year-old Britton has pitched well in Norfolk, recording four quality starts in his past five outings, pitching to a 2.03 ERA in that span. In 11 starts at Norfolk, Britton is 3-2 with a 3.28 ERA.
Before the Orioles announced Hammel would miss Tuesday’s start, Hammel wasn’t optimistic that he’d be able to pitch.
“I feel a little sluggish,” Hammel said. “But it’s day by day. As of right now, the stomach is OK. I’m still a little weak. That’s all I’ve got. … Honestly, if I feel like this tomorrow, it’s probably not going to be a good thing.”
Hammel said his biggest challenge is getting the strength back in his legs after the virus zapped his energy and had him bedridden for two days.
Because of that, the Orioles will likely push Hammel back to Friday. The team is off on Thursday and right-hander Chris Tillman, who threw a bullpen session before tonight's game, is scheduled to start Wednesday afternoon so it would give Hammel two extra days to get healthy.
“That’s another byproduct of waiting and then you feel real confident that you have a guy [at] 100 percent,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “If you put him out there and he’s weak and he’s only able to go an inning or two, then you really put some people in harm’s way.”
The Orioles must make a 25-man roster move to add Britton, but that became simpler when right-hander Miguel Gonzalez left the team before Monday’s game to be with his wife, Lucia, in Southern California for the birth of their first child.
Gonzalez will be placed on the major league paternity list Tuesday and can remain there for up to three days. That allows the Orioles to add a player to the 25-man roster in Gonzalez's absence.
-- Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen (left oblique strain) threw 45 pitches from a full mound today in Sarasota, his first session from a full mound. He is expected to pitch in a simulated game on Thursday. The Orioles have outlined his full rehab schedule and if all goes as planned, Chen is slated to return in the first week of July.
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