Luke Scott had no idea that he was starting at first base until heading for the field to take batting practice. He took a quick glance at the lineup as he passed manager Buck Showalter's office and said, "Wow, I'm 3."
That number indicates first base. He's used to seeing the letters DH.
Scott dropped his bat and raced back to his locker to exchange his glove for a first baseman's mitt.
Showalter wanted to check out Scott at first base, but he also wanted to get Corey Patterson in the lineup. One method was to shift Ty Wigginton to third, put Scott at first and insert Patterson as the DH.
The Orioles are expected to face left-handers CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte this weekend, so Patterson will be relegated to the bench.
Josh Bell sits tonight after striking out three times last night, raising his total to 50 in 144 at-bats.
"It's one of those things where you've got a lot of things to satisfy," Showalter said. "He's gotten, how many at-bats, 100-something? You'd like for him to leave with a good taste in his mouth. He has gotten a pretty good opportunity and I think he is going to leave here realizing what the level is about. 'Can I do it? Yeah, but what have I got to do to get there?' That's what he's got to keep in mind.
"I'll remember the good, too, but I also want to see some other people that haven't had the opportunity that Josh has had."
Hmmm. Sounds like we could see less of Bell over these last three weeks.
What about giving Brandon Snyder some starts at third? Or should the Orioles stick to one position and not put too much on his major league plate?
I guess that depends on whether they view him more as a potential utility player than first baseman/DH.
Another possibility is just giving Wigginton more starts at third, with Snyder starting at first, and occasionally mixing in Robert Andino. Showalter has seen Andino at shortstop and second base. He might want to evaluate Andino at the hot corner, too.
We still won't see Julio Lugo for a while, if at all. Lugo will visit an ear, nose and throat specialist on Friday while he deals with recurring headaches caused by a bad sinus infection. He underwent an MRI yesterday and had a CT scan in Anaheim after being hit on the batting helmet by a pickoff throw on Aug. 29.
Lugo needed the CT scan before he was cleared to fly back to Baltimore.