Showalter focused on his own starters

The Orioles officially signed their top two picks in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, pitcher Hunter Harvey and center fielder Josh Hart, and introduced them to the local media.

Seeing those boyish faces reminded me that I’m really getting old, and it’s going to take a while before Harvey and Hart are in the majors. Assuming they make it, of course. There are no guarantees.

Their professional careers will begin in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League.

Harvey won’t be in the Orioles’ rotation anytime soon, and the club is trying to find an upgrade from outside the organization. Executive vice president Dan Duquette is working the phones.

Meanwhile, manager Buck Showalter is working with the pitchers on his current roster. He has no interest in trade speculation.

HartHarveyTall.jpg“I’ll leave that up to Dan,” Showalter said. “From my perspective, I like what we have here and in Norfolk and in Bowie, and we’re going to try to make that ... guys who can take us where we need to go. And if something else presents itself, then I’ll manage that. But we’ve got some good people here that are pitching well and some guys who are capable of pitching better, and I want to stay focused on that.

“We spend a lot of time coveting other people’s players, and everybody’s got dents in their armor. And also, at what price? I try to keep in mind, from my perspective, who we are and what my job description is. This time of the year, it will only perpetuate as we get closer to the (non-waiver) deadline. It’s also great fodder for fans, too, but everything comes with a price.

“I don’t want the players to think I’m out there... I’m more focused on them, trying to stay focused on my job.”

Right now, Showalter’s job includes trying to win with a rotation that ranks 28th in the majors with a 4.89 ERA. It’s going to be a challenge.

Then again, the Blue Jays have been red-hot, and they’re 27th at 4.86.

Chris Tillman is on the mound tonight for the Orioles, riding a career-high five-game winning streak.

According to STATS, since June 25, 2012, Tillman (17-5, .773) has the third-highest winning percentage among American League starters with at least 12 decisions. He trails Max Scherzer (21-2, .913) and Bartolo Colon (14-4, .778).

Tillman is 5-0 in six starts since May 24, tying him with Scherzer for the second-most wins in the league behind Colon’s six. Tillman’s 8.82 runs of support per game in those outings is more than a run and a half per game better than Scherzer’s (7.24).

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