Last night, the Arizona Diamondbacks, Milwaukee Brewers and Texas Rangers clinched playoff berths, meaning several 2010 and 2011 Orioles will now be heading on to this year's postseason.
I'm particularly excited for Brewers pitching coach Rick Kranitz and extra coach John Shelby, good men who were uncertain where they were going once they lost their positions with the Orioles last winter. Milwaukee's new manager, Ron Roenicke, grabbed both, and they have had an excellent run.
A third member of Dave Trembley's staff last year, former third base coach and interim manager Juan Samuel, is on the postseason-bound Philadelphia Phillies staff, as is former Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo. Trembley, a minor league instructor with the Atlanta Braves, also is with an organization that likely will be in the playoffs.
As for players, David Hernandez, who was somewhat bummed to leave the only organization he knew when he was dealt by the Orioles to the Diamondbacks for Mark Reynolds in December, will get to experience the playoffs as a key setup man. And Michael Gonzalez and Koji Uehara are part of the Rangers' bullpen after midseason trades.
Another 2010 Orioles reliever, Matt Albers, might get to the postseason, too, if the Boston Red Sox hang on to the wild card.
One quick Orioles note: Tommy Hunter threw a bullpen session and said his right groin feels good and that he expects to start Monday. That, of course, will be up to the athletic training staff and manager Buck Showalter.
Here are the lineups for Saturday's game:
Orioles: Angle 7, Hardy 6, Markakis 9, Guerrero DH, Wieters 2, Jones 8, Reynolds 3, Davis 5, Andino 4. Guthrie 1.
Tigers: Jackson 8, Ordonez 9, Young 7, Cabrera 3, Martinez DH, Avila 2, Peralta 6, Raburn 4, Kelly 5. Verlander 1