Fi­nal push pro­vides chance to eval­u­ate

As post­sea­son hopes fade, O’s tak­ing longer glance at ro­ta­tion can­di­dates

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - SPORTS - By Ed­uardo A. Encina

NEW YORK — With the Ori­oles’ post­sea­son as­pi­ra­tions not much more than a pipe dream, one of the most im­por­tant things the club can ac­com­plish over the fi­nal two weeks of the reg­u­lar sea­son is tak­ing stock of po­ten­tial start­ing pitch­ing op­tions for the team’s pend­ing ro­ta­tion over­haul.

Only two starters from this year’s ro­ta­tion, right-han­ders Dy­lan Bundy and Kevin Gaus­man, are ex­pected to re­turn in 2018. The club owns a $12 mil­lion club op­tion on left-han­der Wade Mi­ley for next year, so it’s pos­si­ble he re­turns. But right-han­ders Chris Till­man and Ubaldo Jiménez will become free agents, as will trade dead­line ac­qui­si­tion Jeremy Hel­lick­son. One of the Ori­oles’ big­gest weak­nesses has been the in­con­sis­tency of the team’s start­ing ro­ta­tion, a group that re­turned in­tact from last year’s post­sea­son run. The Ori­oles starters en­tered Satur­day’s game in New York with a 5.60 ERA, the worst in the Amer­i­can League and 29th out of 30 ma­jor league teams. The Ori­oles ro­ta­tion has also logged the fewest in­nings (779) of any team in the AL, an in­di­ca­tion of the short starts TV: Ra­dio:

RON SCHWANE/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Browns rookie quar­ter­back DeShone Kizer made a strong de­but against the Steel­ers last Sun­day, throw­ing for 222 yards and a touch­down. He also ran for a score in Cleve­land’s 21-18 loss. “Just by his ex­pe­ri­ence alone, what we do he hasn’t seen,” Ravens safety Eric Wed­dle said.

JULIE JA­COB­SON/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Starter Jeremy Hel­lick­son and the Ori­oles con­tin­ued their strug­gles in New York with Hel­lick­son giv­ing up six runs in three in­nings in a 9-3 loss Satur­day.

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