Orioles notes on not knowing ALDS opponent, postseason rotation and more

TORONTO – Orioles manager Buck Showalter wants to see his collective group of starters in action today for the team's final regular-season game and last action before Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Thursday.

Showalter initially wanted Alexi Casilla to start at third base today. He will play, but he will come in as a reserve. Ryan Flaherty will start at third base.


So does that mean Flaherty will be the starting third baseman when the Orioles open the ALDS? Not necessarily. It will depend on the matchup, but it's a good sign.

The Orioles head into the regular-season finale without knowing their ALDS opponent. They will face the winner of the AL Central, and the Detroit Tigers go into Game 162 with a one-game lead over the Kansas City Royals. If the teams tie, there will be a tiebreaker game for the division in Detroit on Monday.


Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is in Detroit helping scout the Tigers' final two games with advance scout Bruce Kison and crosschecker Danny Haas.

So conceivably, the Orioles could go into Monday's staff meeting -- where they plan to iron out the postseason roster -- not knowing their opponent.

"We'll have two [rosters]," Showalter said. "So we will plug this one in if we're playing that team or plug that one in. We've got them both ready. I've got mine ready. We've already talked to the coaches a lot about the postseason roster. We're going to meet a little bit on the plane and then we'll all sit down together upstairs. We'll have two if it's still unknown."

Since the Orioles have been scouting both clubs after they clinched the AL East on Sept. 16, Showalter doesn't expect any surprises.

"We had people on both of them," Showalter said. "You have to be prepared because there's no more games to be played before the playoffs so you better have it."

Showalter still hasn't officially announced any of his starting pitchers for the ALDS beyond Chris Tillman. While the way the starters slot out is evident, Showalter said he would still switch them up based on the matchup.

"Some of it is contingent on who we're playing," Showalter said. "I know our bullpen is. You look at a lot of things that could change the dynamic of it. There will be a lot of conversations. I think we will know a something after today. And I think there will be a lot of conversations coming out of that meeting, I'm going to start contacting people."

Even though left-hander Wei-Yin Chen is in line to pitch Game 2, Showalter said that hasn't been decided.


"Of course not, that's why we did it that way," Showalter said. "We've got four guys in play for all four spots. We could really go five. The reason we did it like that was to keep our maneuverability depending on who we're playing. Heck, two days ago it could have been Oakland or Seattle. At least we're down to a couple teams now."

A few other notes:

-- If Adam Jones hits a home run in today's regular-season finale, he will become the fifth Orioles in club history with at least three 30-homer seasons, joining Eddie Murray (5), Rafael Palmeiro (4), Boog Powell (4) and Frank Robinson (3). He would also join Palmeiro as the only Orioles to post 30 homers in three consecutive seasons. Palmeiro recorded four straight 30-homer seasons from 1995-1998.

-- Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is always a tough draw. Despite two quality starts in three outings against the Orioles this season, he has an 0-1 record against them. He is 0-3 with  6.03 ERA in five starts against the Orioles as a member of the Blue Jays.

-- The Orioles have hit at least 210 homers in each of the last three seasons. The New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox are the only teams to hit at least 210 in one of the past three seasons. They both did it in 2012.

-- The Orioles are 58-23 in games on Monday through Thursday but just 37-43 on Friday through Sunday. They are 23-30 in day games.


Here are the starting lineups for both teams:


Nick Markakis RF
Alejandro De Aza LF
Adam Jones CF
Nelson Cruz DH
Steve Pearce 1B
J.J. Hardy SS
Ryan Flaherty 3B
Nick Hundley C
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Miguel Gonzalez RHP

Blue Jays

Jose Reyes SS
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Adam Lind 1B
Dalton Pompey LF
Munenori Kawasaki 3B
Anthony Gose CF
Josh Thole C
Ryan Goins 2B
R.A. Dickey RHP