The Orioles get the pleasure of resetting their playoff roster for the Division Series that begins Sunday at Camden Yards. Weather permitting, of course.
Before anyone asks, I can only assume that a postponement Sunday would push the first two games to Monday and Tuesday, with the Orioles and Yankees losing their workout day in the Bronx. Just a hunch. Let’s cross that washed-out bridge when we come to it.
Manager Buck Showalter can add starters Jason Hammel, Miguel Gonzalez, Chris Tillman and Wei-Yin Chen, which means subtracting four players from the wild card roster. Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta are on the bubble. Is there room for Tommy Hunter? Steve Johnson? Will second baseman Omar Quintanilla be a casualty? (I was wrong about him the first time.)
Showalter will reveal his Game 1 starter later today during his press conference that precedes the Orioles’ workout. All signs point to Hammel, who threw 73 pitches Monday in a simulated game in Sarasota and is properly rested.
Showalter has his choice of starting Chen in Game 2 and Gonzalez in Game 3, or the other way around. He could turn to Tillman for Game 4 if it’s necessary.
Hammel has made 14 career appearances against the Yankees, including eight starts, and is 1-3 with a 6.20 ERA and 1.69 WHIP, 57 hits allowed, 19 walks and 33 strikeouts in 45 innings. He’s allowed 10 home runs, and the Yankees are batting .310 against him.
Sort of reminds you of Joe Saunders’ struggles against the Rangers, and you know what happened last night.
In his last start against the Yankees, Hammel allowed only one run and struck out six in five innings in a Sept. 6 game at Camden Yards. In his next outing, he limped off the mound after 3 2/3 innings with pain in his right knee that he described as exactly the same as his pre-surgery discomfort.
Interesting stat: Left-handers are batting .203 against Hammel this season, compared to .266 by right-handers.
Alex Rodriguez is 8-for-22 with four home runs and nine RBIs lifetime against Hammel. Robinson Cano is 8-for-23 with a double and home run. Ichiro Suzuki is 8-for-12.
Update: Yankees manager Joe Girardi confirmed that Andy Pettitte will start Game 2, after CC Sabathia opens the series on Sunday. Hiroki Kuroda will start Game 3, and Phil Hughes will start Game 4 if necessary.