ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Manager Buck Showalter said his bullpen is in “pretty good shape, all things considered.” Unfortunately, he still had to use it last night despite getting nine scoreless innings from rookie Zach Britton.
“I’ve got a couple guys I’ll stay away from tonight if I can,” Showalter said.
One of them is closer Kevin Gregg, who’s been used in the last three games.
“Kevin’s reminded us that he’s pitched nine out of 10 days (in the past),” Showalter said. “Somebody look that up and see if he’s right. I’m sure he is.”
“Nine out of 10? I want to know who the manager was. Must have been a guy on the last year of his contract,” Showalter said with a grin.
“It was probably back in high school or something. He said he pitched five in a row. He said he actually feels better every day he’s out there.”
Is Gregg available tonight in a save situation?
Showalter repeated the question and added, “In his mind, yes he is.”
Would Gregg have to convince Showalter?
“The Rays could convince me, too,” Showalter replied.
“I could potentially use him tonight.”
Showalter was asked about his lineup, which includes Felix Pie, but not Vladimir Guerrero.
“I want to get Felix in there for a variety of reasons,” Showalter said. “Plus, he (Guerrero) gives me a pretty good pinch-hitter. It’s been nice the last few days having four guys on the bench. I think we actually won a couple of those because we had those extra players on the bench, (and) not hurt some pitchers because we had an extra pitcher, too. It works both ways.”
Matt Wieters isn’t expected to start tomorrow afternoon, but he’ll return to the lineup on Sunday.
First baseman Derrek Lee is the only player to start every game for the Orioles this season. Showalter will look to give him a day off.
“Derrek is one of our challenges,” Showalter said. “Keep in mind, Mark (Reynolds) has played 30, 40 games in the big leagues (at first base). Luke (Scott) has been over there some, and Jake (Fox) has been over there some. That’s something we’re going to look at more as the season goes on.”
To be exact, Reynolds has made 34 appearances at first base, including 24 starts.
Ravens third-round pick Jah Reid, a offensive lineman at Central Florida, is on the field while the Orioles take batting practice.