Buck Showalter has gone with a fairly set lineup during his first series as manager, but he made one major change for the finale against the Angels. Corey Patterson is starting in the designated hitter spot and Ty Wigginton has moved over to third base.
It's unclear whether it was done out of necessity. New third baseman Josh Bell cramped up on Wednesday night, but he apparently is available tonight if needed. Showalter said he might have made the change anyway.
"I wanted to get Patty in there,'' he said.
Patterson wanted to get in there, too, since the next two months are going to be a continual audition for all but a few cornerstone players.
"That's the way I always look at it,'' he said. "I'm always auditioning, whether I was a rookie or a veteran, and now I've got eight years of major league service time. I've always taken the attitude that I have to showcase. Hopefully, they'll consider signing me for next year. I hope it works out here, or with another team."
Showalter said he doesn't have a big problem with the players feeling they have to audition for him over the next two months, though he hopes they didn't start caring about that three days ago..
"It shouldn't be a sometime thing,'' he said. "It's a body of work. Sometimes, coaches and managers forget how tough this game is...and forget how bad they were some times when they were playing the game."
In short, the players are on trial to some extent, but this isn't a daily casting call.
"It's not American Idol,'' he said.