Showalter on Reynolds (First-pitch 7:25 p.m., Willis update)

Orioles manager Buck Showalter spoke briefly to third baseman Mark Reynolds this afternoon and wrote his name in the lineup.

Showalter has noted that Reynolds, struggling in the field with two errors and at the plate with a .143 average, no homers and no RBIs, worked hard over the winter and deserves more of an opportunity. He also doesn’t want to move Reynolds to first base or use any player as the primary designated hitter and lose the flexibility at that spot.

Asked if he considered giving Reynolds the night off after last night’s costly error led to two unearned runs, Showalter replied, “I didn’t consider it too long, but I understand what the topics of conversations are. They’re certainly not going to be about the three or four above-average plays he’s made. It’s going to be about the other stuff.

“We had plenty of opportunities in that game last night to not make anything like that matter, so that’s why it’s called a team game. But I understand where the point of emphasis is because of some of the challenges he had last year.

“Mark and I talked today. We have an off-day tomorrow and head out on the road, and I thought it was important for him to get right back on the horse.”

No sense letting those errors weigh heavily on Reynolds’ mind while he sits on the bench.

“That’s part of the reason why he’s in there today,” Showalter said. “This is a guy that has put in probably as much hard work as anybody on our club during the offseason and it’s kind of frustrating for us not to see him not get a return for it. Sometimes, you can want something too much. And just to get the clock slowed down a little bit.

“If you look at his track record before last year, it’s certainly, you know, how many guys are going to be Brooks Robinson? How many guys are going to be Casey Stengel? We always compare it with the best, but it’s a hard thing to do. Playing at this level and playing anywhere is a hard thing to do and no one understands more than Mark.”

Note: Jake Arrieta had just about finished his warmup tosses when umpires called the Orioles off the field as rain continued to fall. Out comes the tarp. We’re in a delay.

The tarp’s already off the field and we’re now told first pitch is scheduled for 7:25 p.m. If fans paid to see a rain delay, they got ripped off.

Dontrelle Willis left today’s game at Triple-A Norfolk because of continuing soreness in his left shoulder. Executive vice president Dan Duquette indicated that Willis could go on the disabled list, but we’ll know more in the next few days.

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