“Obviously, he hasn’t been as productive as you’d like to see from a guy hitting in that spot in the order,” Showalter said.
Showalter has a few candidates in mind, though he’s not giving away names. If he had an ideal replacement, he probably would have acted upon it by now.
My guess is Mark Reynolds and Adam Jones are two possibilities. Chris Davis would likely be another.
Showalter is hesitant to lower J.J. Hardy in the order because, again, he doesn’t have many leadoff choices.
“If not him, then who?” Showalter asked.
“It’s more than just shuffling cards.”
Showalter also said he’s got more “pressing challenges” than the lineup, “but you try to address everything.”
Cesar Izturis underwent an MRI today. Izturis is on the disabled list with a strained left groin, and the club believes he’ll be ready to return when his 15 days are up. He could head to Sarasota to work out.
Jake Arrieta has a 6 p.m. flight to California tonight, and Dr. Lewis Yocum will examine him at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow.
Showalter said Arrieta has “a tough call to make” regarding surgery to remove a bone spur from the pitcher’s right elbow. It’s looks like Arrieta will get it done, perhaps later this week.
The Orioles haven’t decided whether to give Jim Johnson any starts. They’ll revisit the idea after getting through August. They’ve added Tommy Hunter and Jo-Jo Reyes, and Zach Britton may no longer be shut down since his innings have been reduced with his stint on the disabled list and his trips to Double-A Bowie. The club also will monitor the progression of a couple starters at Triple-A Norfolk.
It’s possible that Johnson will become part of a six-man rotation in September. The Orioles aren’t committed to staying with five starters.
Johnson leads all American League relievers in innings pitched with 64 2/3, but Showalter said the extra workload actually could be beneficial to the right-hander if he switches roles.
Brian Roberts had more headaches today and didn’t participate in baseball activities in Sarasota.
The Orioles agreed to terms with pitcher Jason McCracken, drafted in the 42nd round. They’ve reached agreement with 18 of their picks.