By Eduardo A. Encina
The Baltimore Sun
5:56 PM EDT, September 8, 2012
The tarp is on the infield here at Camden Yards as a line of storms passes through downtown Baltimore. It appears that the worst of the bad weather has come through the city.
The Orioles will face Yankees ace CC Sabathia today, and manager Buck Showalter's starting lineup offers a few tweaks from the one we're used to seeing against left-handed pitching.
Among the changes, Steve Tolleson will hit eighth as the starting DH, the first time he's been in the starting lineup since he was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Sept. 1 when rosters expanded. Tolleson is 2-for-3 in his career against Sabathia.
Also, second baseman Robert Andino, who usually bats ninth when he's in the starting lineup, will hit second. He's a career .400 hitter against Sabathia (8-for-20) with one home run and three RBIs.
Other Orioles who have had success against Sabathia include J.J. Hardy (.357, 5-for-14) and Adam Jones (.342 avg, 13-for-38, 3 homers, 10 RBIs).
"There’s not many positive matchups with Sabathia out there and we only have three or four guys that have had much success against him, but I think there’s a lot of clubs that can say that," Showalter said.
"And when you are dealing with a guy like him, you don’t really think about how the eighth or ninth inning may play out of the bullpen because until you get him out of the game," Showalter added. "This guy is going to go 120 pitches, it doesn’t really matter. You’ve got to figure out the best way to get him out of the game."
The top four hitters in Showalter's revamped lineup -- Nick Markakis, Andino, Hardy and Jones -- are a combined .309 (38-for-128) in their careers against Sabathia.
Showalter is also giving starting catcher Matt Wieters a day off. He's caught eight days in a row -- his last day off was Aug. 30 -- and Showalter says he's "really been pushing the envelope" with using Wieters. Taylor Teagarden will start and hit ninth.
"I think it makes us a better club and makes him a better player," Showalter said of giving Wieters a day off. "I don’t want to take him for granted. I don’t want to make that mistake."
Here's what else is going on:
-- Right-hander Chris Tillman (inflamed ulnar nerve in right elbow), who was slated to throw off a mound for the first time since coming out of a game after three innings Sunday, was moved back "a day or two" in order to allow the anti-inflammatory meds to take effect.
"[The doctors] thought it would be prudent to give him another day or two to make sure we get all that inflammation out of there if there is any left," Showalter said. "I don’t think Tilly is real happy about it but it’s the proper thing to do precautionary wise."
-- After Jones told the Sun on Friday that he wants to play all 162 games this season, Showalter said at this point in the season, it's expected he plays in every game.
-- Yankees first baseman and Severna Park native Mark Teixeira (Mount St. Joe's), who had been on the DL with a strained left calf, will return to the Yankees' lineup tonight, playing first and batting third.
-- Showalter, a huge college football fan, jokingly asked the score the Mississippi State-Auburn game several times during his pregame press conference. Showalter attended college at Mississippi State, which upset Auburn. 28-10.
Here are tonight's starting lineups:
Nick Markakis RF
Robert Andino 2B
J.J. Hardy SS
Adam Jones CF
Mark Reynolds 1B
Lew Ford LF
Manny Machado 3B
Steve Tolleson DH
Taylor Teagarden C
Joe Saunders LHP
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Russell Martin C
Andruw Jones LF
Ichiro Suzuki CF
Jayson Nix 3BCC Sabathia LHP
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