With the Orioles enjoying an off-day on the West Coast, it seemed like the perfect time to answer some of your questions.
What's the latest on Chris Tillman? Do you think he'll land on the disabled list?
-- John F., Annapolis, Md.
Tillman, sidelined with a left ankle injury, will start either Sunday or Monday; barring a setback, I think he'll avoid the DL. Tillman and manager Buck Showalter said that Wednesday's bullpen session in Oakland went well and that the right-hander plans to test out his ankle further by fielding off a mound in Anaheim on Friday.
Because of the off-day, the Orioles don't need a spot starter, so there wasn't as much pressure on the club to move Tillman along. Ankles are tricky and the O's want to make sure he's 100 percent, but the schedule allowed them to do that without having to make significant rotation changes.
I know Gerardo Parra is a rental, but do you expect the Orioles to try to sign him this winter?
-- Jorge R., Brooklyn, N.Y.
Yes, I do. The Orioles have long admired Parra, and both he and his agent have already told the club they'd be interested in staying beyond this year. Of course things can always change, but having a two-time Gold Glove Award winner on next year's team -- particularly given the uncertainty surrounding many of the O's impending free agents -- wouldn't hurt. I'd be surprised, assuming Parra stays healthy and productive, if the Orioles don't make a real effort to keep him in Baltimore.
Is Dariel Alvarez an option? His bat could help this team down the stretch.
-- Patrick M., Washington
With the trade for Parra, the calls for recalling Alvarez from Triple-A have died down some. There's still every expectation that he'll be with the team as part of September callups, but right now, there's nothing imminent, as the O's would have to create roster space to add him.
I really like watching Mychal Givens pitch. Is there a chance he'll come back up here soon, or will he be part of the shuttle to Triple-A?
-- Dan R., Baltimore
You aren't alone, Dan. Givens is very well liked in the organization, and there's a reason the Orioles wouldn't part with him at last week's non-waiver Trade Deadline. That reason was on full display Monday, when he struck out three of the four batters he faced. As for his future, the O's do have an ever-changing roster, but the preference is to keep Givens -- who was optioned to Double-A Bowie on Thursday -- with the organization.
Part of the reason Baltimore traded Tommy Hunter was to free up some roster flexibility, but with the move to reinstate Jason Garcia, the Orioles have just one spot in the 'pen that can be used to shuttle pitchers back and forth.
I think Givens will be back soon. Some in the organization feel he can be a key bullpen piece down the stretch.