In order to include Davis on the roster, the Orioles would have had to play shorthanded until the suspension ends.
“That would be … Game 6 [that he could come back],” Showalter said. “We’re not going to play at 24 [players] for five games. But then if we’re fortunate enough to continue to play, we’ll readdress it.”
Davis, who hit .196 with 26 home runs and 72 RBIs in 126 games this year after a league-leading 53-home run season in 2013, was suspended Sept. 12 for a second positive test for banned amphetamines. He spent part of his suspension playing in fall instructional league games in Sarasota, Fla., to stay sharp.
Until his suspension is over, Davis is allowed to take batting practice and work out with the Orioles while the stadium is closed to the public. However, he is not allowed to take batting practice while fans are present on game days, and he can't watch the game from the dugout.
While on the field with his teammates Thursday, Davis was asked by a reporter whether he was going to speak with the media.
Davis replied: “I’m not even here.”
Tillman officially Game 1 starter
Showalter officially announced Thursday that right-hander Chris Tillman will start the first game against the Royals, who will send right-hander James Shields to the mound for the series opener.
Tillman, who is 13-6 with a 3.34 ERA this year, threw his first career shutout against Kansas City on May 16.
Behind him, pitchers Bud Norris, Wei-Yin Chen, and Miguel Gonzalez all will be available out of the bullpen Friday, Showalter said, and their usage would determine the starting rotation going forward.
Showalter said Nick Hundley likely would catch the opener, but that the roster was not finalized yet.
“We’ll tell everybody that needs to know today,” Showalter said Thursday. He said the team would be allowed to resubmit a second roster after Friday’s 10 a.m. deadline if the game is postponed because of rain.
Around the horn
Joe West will serve as the crew chief during the ALCS. The other umpires on his crew are Brian Gorman, Marvin Hudson, Dan Iassogna, Ron Kulpa, Tim Timmons and Mark Wegner. Iassogna and Timmons will be the replay officials. Umpire Todd Tichenor will assist the designated replay officials in New York.
Baltimore Sun reporter Dan Connolly contributed to this article.