Manager Buck Showalter wrote out two lineups today. He’s got Adam Jones starting in center field in the one he posted. A change would occur only if Jones can’t make it through batting practice because of his sore right thumb.
“Hopefully, we won’t have a rewrite,” Showalter said.
Jones hasn’t started since Sept. 9. He’s been used as a pinch-runner on Tuesday and a defensive replacement on Wednesday.
“He hasn’t really swung a bat and tested it, so we’ll see how batting practice goes,” Showalter said.
Update: Jones has been scratched again. His thumb remains too sore for him to grip a bat.
For the Orioles:
Matt Angle CF
J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Vladimir Guerrero DH
Matt Wieters C
Chris Davis 3B
Mark Reynolds 1B
Nolan Reimold LF
Robert Andino 2B
Tommy Hunter RHP
Vladimir Guerrero is batting .447 with four doubles and a home run in his last 10 games. His average is up to .289.
Asked to evaluate Guerrero’s season, Showalter said, “As advertised. Vladdy has a chance to lead us in batting average. Never been from lack of effort. Been a great teammate and a pleasure to manage. He’s very personable, low maintenance. Very quietly, he’s finishing strong. You never have to worry about him being ready to play. He loves the game of baseball. He watches it. This is a guy who’s a fan of the game. He acts like he’s playing his first game in Little League every day. Players seem to migrate toward him.
“He’s a guy who’s going into the Hall of Fame, OK? We try to treat him with the respect he has due. He’s been pretty consistent for us. It’s not going to surprise anybody in our clubhouse that he’s going to have a solid year next year. I think two or three times people have tried to say the needle’s pointing one way or the other on him, and I was really cautioning them about, with the heart that he has and the desire and the love of the game of baseball, to say he couldn’t do something as his career goes forward. He’s been a pleasure for me, personally, to manage.”
So would Showalter like Guerrero to return next season as his designated hitter?
“We’ve got 14, 15 games - whatever it is - left,” Showalter replied. “This is not the time or place for it. I know you’ve got to ask the question. Believe me, he’s going to be working somewhere and it could very well be here. We’ll see. I think that’s going to be more his decision as much as the teams that would have interest. A lot of people would like to have Vladimir around.”
The Orioles are 35-40 at home with six games remaining at Camden Yards. They could post their first winning record at home since going 44-37 in 2000.
Orioles pinch-hitters lead the majors with a .321 average (17-for-53).
For the Angels: