Didn’t see that one coming.
“They both had options,” manager Buck Showalter said. “Ronny, we just want to get him catching for a period of time, get him back there every day. Keep in mind how short his spring training was. I wouldn’t say rushed. He’s done some good things for us. We just want to let him catch every day down there and get back to where he’s comfortable. Build up some of his leg strength and get some consistent at-bats. Luis has been doing well there and this gives us a chance to take a look at him.
“Obviously, Matt (Wieters) needed a day after 17 innings yesterday. I knew talking to him yesterday with the adrenaline compared to how he was going to feel today were going to be two different things.
“He didn’t ask for a day. I can tell you that. It’s one of those things where you don’t ask the player. Hopefully, we’ll get through tonight and get him back out there tomorrow.”
Paulino was batting .300 with three RBIs in 30 at-bats. He went 4-for-4 in his Orioles debut on April 7 and was 7-for-13 after three starts.
Exposito is regarded as the better defensive catcher.
Showalter said Chris Davis is “a little sore, in a good way” after pitching two innings yesterday.
Showalter was prepared to put Nick Markakis on the mound in the 18th inning yesterday. Davis wasn’t going to pitch a third inning.
Asked if he had time to reflect on yesterday’s bizarre game, Showalter replied, “Not really. I start to and something else comes up. Triple-A played a doubleheader yesterday, and trying to be fair to them, but obviously the priority’s here.
“Reflect? A little bit on the plane. I had to go back and was talking to some of our guys who were with the Rangers last year who are going to get their AL championship rings today, just trying to get a feel from them on how they wanted that done. It’s something they earned and we want to do it right. But usually I leave those guys alone on the plane and don’t get in their business. They see enough of me all day. But you could tell there was a lot of emotion there.”
Only four Orioles pitchers in spring training had more appearances than Stu Pomeranz, who got into eight games despite not being on the official camp roster. He wasn’t an invite, but Showalter kept him around.
Pomeranz, who’s battled injuries in his minor league career and is a recovering alcoholic, allowed one run and eight hits in 8 1/3 innings this spring. He walked one and struck out five.
“He pitched well,” Showalter said. “It’s like the guy who says, ‘If you play me more, I’d play better.’ Well, if you play better, I’d play you more. He pitched well and we kept taking a look at him.”
Pomeranz threw for the Orioles in the indoor batting cage during their mini-camp in January. Special assistant Brady Anderson worked with Pomeranz and recommended that the Orioles take a look at him.
“Brady was instrumental in bringing him in for a tryout. Brady knew his whole story and his background,” Showalter said.
“Rick (Adair) and I were here and he threw and it was pretty good. Sometimes, in that closed environment there, everybody sounds and looks like they’re throwing 150. But it was more than just velocity, if you understand his story and where he’s actually come from to get to this point. That’s why it was important to send him to Double-A and he did well there, and not start him too high. From a lot of evaluators, he’s our best option right now. But we’ll see. It’s a different atmosphere here, especially with the Rangers.”
Former Orioles first-round pick Brandon Snyder is starting at third base for the Rangers. Here’s the lineup:
Ian Kinsler 2B
Elvis Andrus SS
Josh Hamilton LF
Adrian Beltre DH
Michael Young 1B
Nelson Cruz RF
Mike Napoli C
Brandon Snyder 3B
Craig Gentry CF
Matt Harrison LHP