Answering some Orioles questions from Twitter ahead of Friday's doubleheader

The Orioles take on the New York Yankees for a day-night doubleheader today in what should be the kickoff for clinch week -- assuming the Orioles can continue the momentum they built in a three-game sweep over the Boston Red Sox.

I thought Thursday's day off would be a good time to do a question-and-answer session, so I asked Twitter followers to help out.


Here were some of the questions -- and my replies. Hopefully, it will answer the primary questions that have been burning in your mind about the Orioles.

If not, I will do it again sometime soon. I cleaned up the Twitter lingo a little bit, since I'm not limited to 140 characters here. But here are some of the main exchanges.


Thanks to all who participated.

@OMF_Derek: With all the stellar pitching performances lately, who would you think is in the ALDS rotation?

I think Chris Tillman and Wei-Yin Chen are locks, probably in that order. Miguel Gonzalez has done everything possible to earn a spot. And Bud Norris has been solid, too. I wouldn't be surprised if Buck Showalter used four starters.

@dtgordo: What do you think the chances are that the Orioles sign Nelson Cruz to a long-term deal?

Not great, because he is 34 and in line for a big deal, and the Orioles have a lot of salary increases and decisions. But Nelson likes the Orioles, and Orioles like him. So a reasonable deal for both sides is a possibility.

@BenjamNSmith: Who do you think the O's have the best chance of facing in the AL? Also, which team you'd least like to face?

The American League Central winner -- the Kansas City Royals or the Detroit Tigers. And the team I'd least like to face? The Oakland Athletics. The Coliseum is so tough on visitors.

@CSCampbell06: Who do we match up better against -- Detroit or Kansas City?


Kansas City, no question. They don't have dominant or experienced pitching, with the exception of "Big Game" James Shields. I'd take my chances with them.

Plus, the Tigers can slug with the Orioles, and Kansas City can't. And Detroit has a more dominating pitching staff. Plus Detroit has been there, and the Royals haven't.

@Lockster22: We watch him daily, so we're biased. But does Nick Markakis have any traction for a Gold Glove?

He does. Because other teams and coaches vote for it. But his defensive metrics are always lacking. He's a guy you have to watch to appreciate.

@GriffCavell: Will the Orioles consider nontendering Chris Davis in the offseason?

He'll get a lot of money in arbitration, but I just don't think you pull the plug on him. You can't. He stays.


@UNC_SF49ers: Kevin Gausman to the bullpen, you think? I like his stuff a lot. Man, that rotation is so much better than people expected.

I think Gausman is perfect for the playoff bullpen. Such a great change of pace to call on him if any of the starters are laboring.