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Former Orioles manager Buck Showalter joins MLB Network as studio analyst; Akin recalled with LeBlanc’s season over

Former Orioles manager Buck Showalter has found a new job in baseball.

Showalter joined MLB Network as a studio analyst, the network announced Tuesday, replacing Joe Girardi, who was hired as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies this offseason. Showalter made his debut Tuesday on MLB Tonight at 2 p.m. alongside host Fran Charles and analyst and former Orioles infielder Bill Ripken.

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Showalter is scheduled to be part of two MLB Network broadcasts this week — Wednesday’s 1 p.m. game between the Los Angeles Angels and Houston Astros at 1 p.m. and Sunday’s game between the Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels at 4 p.m. — and will appear on Friday’s MLB Tonight. He’ll also be part of the network’s trade deadline coverage next Monday.

“I’m honored by this opportunity to join MLB Network and contribute alongside this solid group of people,” Showalter said in a news release. “Mark DeRosa, Al Leiter, Dan Plesac and Jim Thome played for me. Harold Reynolds has been a close friend of mine, and I’ve known Bill Ripken for a long time. I look forward to talking baseball with these guys and the rest of the team as we try to enhance our fans’ love of the game.”

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Showalter, a three-time American League Manager of the Year, spent 20 seasons as an MLB manager, with the final nine coming with the Orioles from 2010 to 2018. Showalter’s 1,551 career wins rank 24th all-time in MLB history, and his 669 wins with the Orioles rank second all-time behind Hall of Famer Earl Weaver (1,480).

He previously worked as an analyst for ESPN, including between his time as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Texas Rangers and before being hired by the Orioles, and joined the YES Network as a Yankees analyst before the 2019 season.

“Buck’s wealth of baseball knowledge has always been on full display when he’s joined as a guest over the years, and we’re thrilled that he’s now joining our team,” MLB Network president Rob McGlarry said. “With the postseason races about to take shape, we know Buck will contribute insightful analysis across all our different programs as he draws on his more than 40 years in the game.”

Akin recalled with LeBlanc out for season

Orioles left-hander Wade LeBlanc, who left Sunday’s game with the Boston Red Sox with elbow discomfort, was placed on the 60-day injured list and thus is out for the season after the team announced he had a stress reaction in his elbow.

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“I was hoping for good news,” manager Brandon Hyde said, though he noted that it’s a bone issue that simply needs to heal as opposed to a ligament issue or muscle issue that could force a more grueling recovery.

Left-hander Keegan Akin, who made his major league debut Aug. 14 and allowed three runs in three relief innings in his only appearance for the big league club, was recalled from the secondary site.

Akin, who was a starter throughout his minor league career, is a candidate to replace LeBlanc in the Orioles’ rotation when his spot comes up on Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Right-hander Thomas Eshelman, who pitched 4⅓ shutout innings in relief of LeBlanc and has a 2.75 ERA. He made two spot starts for the Orioles earlier this season. Hyde mentioned right-hander Jorge López as an option to start as well.

Around the horn

  • Catcher Austin Wynns and right-handers David Hess, Evan Phillips, and Cesar Valdez are on the taxi squad with the Orioles this week, while shortstop José Iglesias (quadriceps) and right-hander Hunter Harvey (forearm) traveled with the team on rehab, meaning they could be activated during this road trip.
  • Hyde said catcher Pedro Severino (hip) was day-to-day.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jon Meoli contributed to this story.

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