Orioles manager Buck Showalter has set his rotation for the upcoming Tampa Bay series.
Well, kind of.
The way it looks now, left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will start Monday, Miguel Gonzalez, currently on the disabled list with an oblique strain, will start Tuesday and rookie Kevin Gausman will pitch the rubber game Wednesday against the Rays.
But these are the Orioles, so changes could easily occur between now and the middle of the week. It’s possible Gonzalez, who can be activated from the DL as early as Sunday, is needed in the bullpen. In that scenario, Gausman would start Tuesday on regular rest and Gonzalez could get pushed back to Wednesday – or it’s possible Ubaldo Jimenez could pitch Wednesday.
“The last two potentially could change order depending on what happens today and tomorrow,” Showalter said. “And still something could happen where we need Miguel out of the bullpen on Sunday, so that could change something. We’ll see how the next two days go and we’ll see what post-off day brings.”
The Orioles are off Thursday, so with the addition of Gonzalez, the Orioles are probably in position to skip one pitcher’s turn in the rotation if they want – perhaps Jimenez’s -- but Showalter said the starters for the series in New York against the Yankees has not been determined.
** The Orioles always have a loose clubhouse, but it was exceptionally loose Saturday afternoon when comedian Frank Caliendo stopped by pregame. Caliendo, who is performing at the Baltimore Comedy Factory this weekend, is known for his sports figure impressions and put on an impromptu show for about 10 to 15 minutes.
He imitated sportscasters such as Jon Gruden, John Madden, Chris Berman, sports writer Tim Kurkjian and basketball stars-turned-announcers Charles Barkley and Bill Walton, among others. He also did a spot-on imitation of former President George W. Bush as if he were in a conversation with Showalter.
About a dozen players stopped what they were doing to watch -- and laugh -- with Caliendo. Showalter asked afterward whether he liked having those kinds of positive distractions in the clubhouse on occasion.
“Well, yeah. That’s why it is so important to get away from it sometimes. Laughter is a great thing,” Showalter said.
** Manny Machado was moved back up to the second spot in the lineup Saturday after hitting seventh in the last three games. Ryan Flaherty, Delmon Young and Nick Hundley all get starts against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. Hundley is starting at catcher instead of Caleb Joseph, who was hit in the hand by a Drew Hutchison fastball Friday. The ball also ricocheted off Joseph’s hand and hit him in the neck area. Showalter said Joseph was fine but sore on Saturday. He’s available to play if needed.
** The lineups
Orioles: Markakis 9, Machado 5, Jones 8, Davis 3, Cruz 7, Hardy 6, Young DH, Flaherty 4, Hundley 2. Norris 1.
Blue Jays: Reyes 6, Cabrera 7, Bautista 9, Lind DH, Encarnacion 3, Francisco 5, Lawrie 4, Thole 2, Gose, 8. Dickey 1.