Sometimes, when he’s having a hard day, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde will look up at the framed lineup card hanging in his office.

It’s from March 30, 2019, his first win as a manager. Nate Karns started that game, pitching two innings, because the Orioles simply had no other options. No one who was in the starting lineup or pitched that day is still in the organization.

Back then, Hyde was just trying to win one game in a series, putting together a lineup with the limited options he had. Now, the Orioles think they can win every game and he has almost too many players vying for a chance to help them do that.

A six-man [rotation] makes it even harder. Not having optionable guys and wanting to keep this group together through this stretch, I’m going to be very aware of usage.

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde

“It’s a lot different now than it was back then,” Hyde remarked.

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That leads to “gloomy mornings” when the team has to make tough decisions, such as Saturday when it had to designate Mike Baumann for assignment to make room for Grayson Rodriguez on the active roster. And things won’t get easier as the Orioles enter a stretch in which they have only two off days in 45 days.

Only two members of their bullpen — Keegan Akin and Yennier Cano — can be optioned. They won’t option Cano, meaning Akin, who has a 2.84 ERA and 0.3 WAR, is the only one who can be sent down to Triple-A in exchange for a fresh arm. Otherwise, the Orioles will have to designate someone else for assignment to clear a spot for a new reliever and risk losing him to another team.

“It’s going to be tough,” Hyde said. “The way the rules are in place with only being able to carry 13 pitches, having guys who are out options, you have to make tough decisions.”

To get through this stretch, which will last until July 1 and will include games against the Braves, Yankees, Rangers, Astros and Phillies, the Orioles will likely go to a six-man rotation, moving Cole Irvin out of the bullpen and back into a starting role.

This will protect their starters by providing them a built-in extra day off in lieu of an off day, but it will also take a man out of the bullpen, increasing the strain on the remaining members. To take some of the pressure off, Hyde said, he will try to have starters go as long as possible. But he won’t overwork them.

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“A six-man makes it even harder,” Hyde said. “Not having optionable guys and wanting to keep this group together through this stretch, I’m going to be very aware of usage.”

Cole Irvin could be headed back to the starting rotation to help the Orioles cope with a stretch of 43 games in 45 days. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

That will leave a bullpen of Cano, Akin, Craig Kimbrel, Danny Coulombe, Cionel Pérez, Jacob Webb and Albert Suárez. When the time comes when they need to rotate in a fresh arm, the easiest, but perhaps not most practical, way to do so is by optioning Akin. They would lose him for 15 days, but they would not risk saying goodbye for good. Bryan Baker, Jonathan Heasley, Seth Johnson, Matt Krook, Corbin Martin, Kaleb Ort, Dillon Tate, Nick Vespi and Bruce Zimmermann (eligible to come off injured list Sunday) are the options on their 40-man roster.

Pérez and Suárez are the only others the Orioles would consider designating for assignment. Pérez, a left-handed pitcher, has a 7.11 ERA, but all of those runs came from two of his eight outings. Suárez dazzled in his first two starts and has given up just one run in four relief appearances. He can be used in any role, including long reliever, setup man and late-inning arm.