Manager Buck Showalter fielded a variety of questions during his pregame session with the media, beginning with the latest on center fielder Adam Jones. I’ll pass along a few of his quotes.
“Adam had an MRI at 2:30 and I have not heard the results of that,” Showalter said. “I don’t think he’s here yet, so who knows? That lineup could change back to him being in it. I don’t know.
“We could have pushed it. Different situation, he’d probably try to play through it, but I do think the potential that one solid jam shot in there could, with the number of games there, put that in jeopardy. Do I expect him to play again this year? Yes. Does that mean that regardless of how long you wait, that it’s in jeopardy? We have a lot of things in that clubhouse that aren’t going to completely go away until the first of November, probably, including me. But I don’t have to play. It doesn’t affect him too much griping the ball, but it’s a challenge physically.”
Showalter indicated that left-hander Brian Matusz most likely will start on Monday for the first time since Sept. 5.
“It kind of looks like Matusz in Game 2, but we’re gonna see,” Showalter said. “Brian’s worked hard and he would start one of those games, either Sunday or Monday, anyway. So we’ll see. There are still a couple moving parts. We’ll wait and see.”
Showalter was asked his opinion on pitchers winning the MVP award. The folks in Detroit are campaigning for right-hander Justin Verlander, who’s 23-5 with a 2.36 ERA and 238 strikeouts.
“I’m OK with that,” Showalter replied. “Try winning without it. I’ve heard the story about there being two separate awards, that’s why there’s the Cy Young, whatever. It’s kind of like an MVP position player can also win a Gold Glove, he can also win a Silver Slugger. I think they’re extremely valuable. Try winning without them.
“I’ve said it many times, in baseball, you can’t make the ball be hit to your best defender, you can’t make your best hitter hit in a crucial situation. It’s the epitome of a team game. But the one thing that you can control is who pitches. That lends some credence to how important and how valuable that is, that guy who takes the ball, whether it’s every fifth day or consistently out of the bullpen. Once you’ve been on the other side, where you don’t have somebody like that, those are the people you need to ask how they feel about that. I can tell you what most of their answers are going to be. You just purely define how valuable is it, I think we all know the answer to that. Try doing it without them.”
For the Angels:
Maicer Izturis 3B
Peter Bourjos CF
Howie Kendrick 2B
Torii Hunter DH
Mark Trumbo 1B
Vernon Wells LF
Mike Trout RF
Erick Aybar SS
Bobby Wilson C
Ervin Santana RHP
Update: The start of tonight’s game is being delayed after a Zach Britton warmup pitch nailed plate umpire Brian O’Nora’s ankle. O’Nora had to be helped off the field.
Alfonso Marquez will work home plate.