This, that and the other

The Orioles have taken their act to Detroit for the last four road games of the season.

No mo' after Motown.

Only three Orioles starters are listed for the series - Zach Britton tonight, Alfredo Simon tomorrow night and Jeremy Guthrie on Saturday night. Sunday's starter is TBA.

Brian Matusz and Rick VandenHurk are available for the assignment. Jo-Jo Reyes tossed three scoreless innings in relief Tuesday night, which might sway manager Buck Showalter.

Any preferences?

The Tigers will start Jacob Turner (0-1, 7.45 ERA), Rick Porcello (14-9, 4.79 ERA), Justin Verlander (24-5, 2.29 ERA) and Brad Penny (10-10, 5.31 ERA).

Nine pitchers in baseball history have won both the Cy Young and MVP awards: Starters Don Newcombe, Denny McLain, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Vida Blue and Roger Clemens, and relievers Rollie Fingers, Willie Hernandez and Dennis Eckersley. No pitcher has been named MVP since Eckersley in 1992.

I'm not totally against a pitcher receiving the award, but it requires an exceptional season, one that's truly out of the ordinary.

I wouldn't have a problem with Verlander taking home the hardware.

Any preferences?

Miguel Cabrera is batting .350 against the Orioles this season. Vladimir Guerrero is batting .360 against the Tigers.

I can probably guess your preference.

It's safe to assume that four positions are set for the Orioles next season. That's it. I'm counting only four, barring any trades over the winter.

Adam Jones will be the center fielder, Nick Markakis will be the right fielder, J.J. Hardy will be the shortstop and Matt Wieters will be the catcher.

Mark Reynolds has a spot on the team, but we can't say for sure that he'll be the first baseman. He's better at the cooler corner, but it depends on other potential moves over the winter and what the club decides to do with Chris Davis.

I saw Reynolds make an outstanding play at first last night, and a pretty good one. I kept flicking over to "Modern Family," so he might have snuck a third one past me.

Robert Andino will be part of the 25-man roster, perhaps in a utility role unless he somehow winds up as the starting second baseman. That's not the current plan, but hey, stranger things have happened - like him emerging as the most improved player on this team.

Left field is unsettled. Third base could be the same. Somebody has to be the designated hitter, and Guerrero's typically hot September doesn't figure to keep him in Baltimore.

Pitcher Steve Johnson is the latest Oriole to be assigned to the Arizona Fall League's Mesa Solar Sox, in case you're updating your roster.

Left-handers are 4-for-46 against Clay Rapada this season.

The Orioles really need to keep him as a lefty specialist next season and not worry about his one-dimensional ways. It's a devastating dimension. Just build a better bullpen around him, and find starters who can get through the fourth inning. Simple.

One of the reasons that I like Jim Johnson as the closer is he hasn't needed many pitches to record three outs, which makes him available on back-to-back nights.

Johnson threw nine pitches again last night, seven for strikes. Bam, bam, bam. Break out the post-game spread.

I'll leave you with another question: Who deserves to be named American League Manager of the Year?

I thought Cleveland's Manny Acta was a slam dunk, but Tampa Bay's Joe Maddon has kept a team in the wild card race that lost Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett over the winter, and Manny Ramirez to an abrupt "retirement" on April 8 related to a pending 100-game suspension for testing positive again for a performance-enhancing substance.

Maddon's closer is Kyle Farnsworth, who isn't usually associated with an enhanced performance.

Naturally, the media in Cleveland thinks Acta should be a unanimous choice, and the media in Tampa/St. Petersburg thinks Maddon deserves the honor.

Any preferences?

I'd take Acta if they're forced to wrestle for it.

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