When a player who’s drawing some trade interest is removed from a game with 24 hours left before the non-waiver deadline, a few eyebrows are going to be raised.
Manager Buck Showalter sat Derrek Lee in the bottom of the eighth inning of Game 1. Mark Reynolds moved to first and Josh Bell took over at third.
Let the speculation begin.
Now let it end.
I’m told that Lee was removed because it’s hot in New York and the Orioles have another game to play tonight.
You have to admit, the timing was intriguing. And if Lee had ducked into the clubhouse and returned to the bench in his street clothes and with a map of downtown Pittsburgh in his hand, I would have really become suspicious.
The Orioles lost Game 1, 8-3. They’ll send rookie Zach Britton to the mound for the nightcap. They’ll also announce a roster move, which most likely will involve Chris Tillman.