If Orioles manager Buck Showalter is considering major or minor changes to his lineup, he isn’t going to publicize it.
“I wouldn’t tip my hand if I was,” he said. “They certainly don’t need to see it and read it and whatever. I trust them, but they understand that at some point we’re going to have to be a little better. But to hand it on one person...
“We’ve had periods where we’ve done well offensively, and we will again. I hope it starts tonight, but I’m certainly not going to be threatening or talking about what some of the thoughts are. I still like the potential of what our lineup could bring. We’ll see.”
Showalter went with his usual order tonight, which includes Nick Markakis second, Derrek Lee third and Vladimir Guerrero fourth. Markakis is mired in a 5-for-36 slump. Lee and Guerrero are a combined 5-for-30 (.167) with one extra-base hit with runners in scoring position.
Showalter remains patient in large part because he’s dealing with veterans who are off to a slow start and figure to bust out, “but it’s also about productivity,” he said. “I have a lot of confidence that it will happen. If not, we’ll make an adjustment.”
How important is this series, coming off a stretch where the Orioles have lost 11 of their last 13 games?
“I’m not going to put the weight of the whole season around it, but our guys are frustrated at not getting some return in the W column recently, especially in some of the games,” Showalter replied. “Sitting in the dugout after the game ended the other day, and in our clubhouse, you could tell - you may not see it, but there’s a pretty good edge working there. They want some return for what they’re putting into it. Some things haven’t bounced our way here and there, but we’ve got to make it happen.
“I’m not going to say this series ... they’re all key. The competition’s there every day. That’s why they call it the big leagues. That’s why they call it the American League and why they call it the American League East. Nobody feels sorry for you.”