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Buck Showalter's pregame musings (Orioles and Jays lineups, Lough, Hardy)

Friday's press briefing with manager Buck Showalter was a bit subdued.

The manager, known for always being in his office, came to the ballpark later than usual as he stayed longer at home with his wife and family. Showalter's father-in-law, Phil McMahan, died Thursday after a protracted battle with cancer.

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Showalter said he will leave the team at some point around April 25 to attend the memorial service in Nashville for McMahan.

There wasn't a whole lot of news coming out of the media session.

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David Lough (left hamstring) is expected to play nine innings in an intrasquad game in Sarasota, Fla., on Friday and then head to Maryland afterward. He is expected to play a few rehab games at Frederick, but Showalter said there's an outside chance that he could be activated this weekend if the Orioles were dealing with an injury.

J.J. Hardy (left shoulder) said he is feeling better and could begin a rehab assignment Tuesday, though he is not putting a timetable on it. He swung a fungo bat Thursday and expected to swing a regular bat Friday. Hitting is the last hurdle to returning; he's had no problem with any defensive drills.

Showalter didn't give much insight into what he's thinking about the weather situation for Friday's home opener. But, he said, if it's up to him, he'd much rather wait out the rain Friday than have a doubleheader Saturday.

The club also has to take in consideration other ramifications of postponing Friday's game, such as how it affects fans who build their day around Opening Day festivities.

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Hall of Famer Jim Palmer will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. As customary for the honor, he was asked if there was anyone in particular he wanted to have catch it? His answer: He wishes it could be his friend and old teammate Mike Flanagan, who passed away in 2011.

The Orioles lineup features switch-hitting Everth Cabrera in the leadoff spot and at shortstop. Alejandro De Aza, who has led off in the previous three games, is likely sitting because lefty Mark Buehrle is starting for the Toronto Blue Jays. Also, for the first time in this young season, Ryan Flaherty won't be starting with Cabrera at shortstop and Jonathan Schoop at second base.

Here are the lineups:

Orioles

Everth Cabrera SS
Steve Pearce LF
Adam Jones CF
Chris Davis 1B
Delmon Young DH
Manny Machado 3B
Travis Snider RF
Jonathan Schoop 2B
Caleb Joseph C

Bud Norris RHP


Blue Jays

Jose Reyes SS
Dalton Pompey CF
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion DH
Josh Donaldson 3B
Dioner Navarro C
Justin Smoak 1B
Kevin Pillar LF
Devon Travis 2B

Mark Buehrle LHP

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