Showalter tackles a variety of pregame topics

Manager Buck Showalter explained why the Orioles optioned backup catcher Luis Exposito to Triple-A Norfolk and replaced him with Ronny Paulino. He didn't mention Exposito being 1-for-17 since joining the club.

"We're trying to get him catching consistently," Showalter said. "Young guy. I think at the time we sent Ronny out, we had some pitching things.

"A lot of these moves aren't just as simple as one-for-one. You've got options, you've got certain guys who can come back with injuries. But the idea was to get Ronny back at some point. He went down there and played real well. And we'd like to see Expo catching five or six days a week. He's still a young man at 24, 25. Get his bat going a little bit."

Paulino batted .300 (9-for-30) with three RBIs in nine games with the Orioles earlier this season. He hit .283/.313/.391 in 12 games with Norfolk after being optioned on May 7.

"I applaud Ronny for his effort and the way he went about things down there," Showalter said.

The Orioles are hoping Bill Hall clears waivers by the 1 p.m. deadline tomorrow.

"If he doesn't, he'll be in the big leagues with somebody," Showalter said.

Hall lost his roster spot because the Orioles wanted to bring up an extra reliever, Stu Pomeranz, "and keep the integrity of our bullpen and its health as much as possible," Showalter said.

"It's more about a bullpen. It's a strength, and I want to protect it, and we want to protect it as much as possible and we think (Pomeranz) can be a contributor down there."

Pomeranz had to stay down for 10 days after being optioned, since he wasn't replacing an injured player. Yesterday was the 10th day.

The Orioles will make a decision on Mark Reynolds and Endy Chavez after they start tomorrow and Sunday at Double-A Bowie. They played in extended spring training toay, with Reynolds hitting a home run and walking twice.

"We'll see where we are Monday or Tuesday," Showalter said. "That's a decision Dan (Duquette) is going to have to make, talking to the trainers there and what kind of feedback they're getting. But they both feel good. I know Mark had a bunch of chances, and so did Endy, early in that game."

Adam-Jones-black-staring.jpgShowalter wasn't getting out of his pregame media session without being asked about Adam Jones' contract extension, which is expected to be announced this weekend.

"I'm excited about the possibility of Adam being on our club, period," he said. "The length and the money and whatever, that's up to somebody else. But I think Adam's been pretty true to the game and to the Orioles, and I think the game over the years has always given back what you put into it. It may not be revealed to you real quickly, but sooner or later it will give back what you put into it and how you treat it. I'm proud of the way Adam's gone about his business, as far as playing hard. It's important to Adam that the Orioles do well, and it's pretty sincere."

Showalter has heard that Jones' deal is for six years. It's believed to be worth around $85 million.

"I haven't heard any of the dollars. I don't really care to hear it," Showalter said. "That's a heck of a commitment by our ownership, which is a commitment by our fans, too. I'm going to be excited to write his name in the lineup.

"There's different risks in everything in life. I think in this case, the risk is not doing it, especially what he could potentially mean to this city and the fan base and his teammates.

"Adam and I have a pretty open relationship to a fault. We can say just about anything to each other and know that there's a pure heart about it. It's about the Orioles and what's best for us. There's a lot of give and take there. At the end of the day, he respects what we're trying to do here."

Political commentator Bill O'Reilly stopped by Showalter's office this afternoon with Nick Markakis' father-in-law.

I'll file that one under "Things You Don't Expect to See."

Baseball America's Matt Eddy sums up the Orioles' recent minor league transactions:

Signed: RHP Eric Beaulac (released by Mets), RHP Matt Bischoff (released by Mariners), RHP Oscar Melendez, LHP J.C. Romero (released by Cardinals), 2B Josh Barfield (re-signed), OF Lew Ford (Long Island (Atlantic)), OF Paolo Pezzarossi

Removed from 40-man: RHP Brad Bergesen (outrighted to Triple-A)

Placed on 7-day DL: RHP Steve Johnson, LHP Zach Fowler, LHP Zach Phillips, 3B Matt Sweeney

Reinstated from DL: RHP Oliver Drake, RHP Brandon Erbe, RHP Williams Louico

According to this story from Guatefutbol.com, Paolo Pezzarossi is a Guatemalan teen outfielder and brother of soccer player Dwight Pezzarossi.

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