Orioles manager Buck Showalter hasn’t made a final decision on his Sunday starter to close out the 2013 season.
Chris Tillman remains the listed starter, but Showalter could choose to call upon Jason Hammel.
A deciding factor could be whether the Red Sox or Athletics already have clinched home field advantage in the playoffs.
“All things being equal, Chris wants to pitch,” Showalter said. “I went through all the tie-breakers and all the stuff to make sure we knew what meant what. It also depends how Hammel feels with three days off.”
Showalter was asked if he’s considered how his coaching staff will be constructed next season.
“I think you know with my history and track record with coaches more than likely how that ends up, but we’ll listen to what everybody’s got to say,” he replied. “I’ll let everything kind of clear and make sure they want to be back. We’ve got some of them contractually obligated anyway, in a good way. I’m pretty excited about that.”
Showalter said he’s meeting with pitching coach Rick Adair next week in Baltimore “to see what’s going on with his life.” Adair took a personal leave of absence, and it’s uncertain whether he will return in 2014.
Showalter said he’s sitting down with Adair “just as a friend. He’s going to be in town to do some things with his apartment and I told him we’d get together and see where everything is.”
If Adair returns, Showalter will have to decide whether to move Bill Castro back into his former role as bullpen coach.
“Potentially,” Showalter said. “Everything’s open. We’ll see where everybody is in their life right now. Scotty (McGregor) is doing a good job for us.”
That includes hitting coach Jim Presley, who’s signed through 2014.
The Orioles must decide this winter whether to offer second baseman Brian Roberts another contract.
“I think any organization would like to have Brian,” Showalter said. “We’ll see. That’s something where we’ll let the smoke clear and everything right now. We all kind of think about this and that and whatever. Let’s be frank about it. But I haven’t really dwelled on how that will all play out. There’s a lot of variables involved there.
“Brian’s got some good baseball ahead of him, especially if he stays healthy, which he has for an extended period of time. You’ve just got to let it play out and see where we are when we’re done. There’s still some time before that decision has to be made. Some of it may be Brian’s, too.”
Reliever T.J. McFarland flew to Chicago early this morning to attend to a family matter. He wanted to return in time for tonight’s game, but Showalter told him to stay overnight if necessary, especially after he pitched last night.
“I’m not counting on him tonight,” Showalter said.
According to Major League Baseball, Manny Machado has the fourth-most purchased jersey on the MLB.com/shop Web site since the All-Star break behind Mariano Rivera, Matt Harvey and Yasiel Puig. Machado had the second-most purchased jersey among AL players, trailing only Rivera, and had the top selling jersey among players outside of New York and Los Angeles clubs.
Chris Davis came in 16th in all of baseball and eighth among AL players.
Davis tied Miguel Cabrera for the major league lead last night with his 137th RBI. Davis’ total is the fourth-most in Orioles history behind Miguel Tejada’s 150 in 2004, Rafael Palmeiro’s 142 in 1996 and Jim Gentile’s 141 in 1961.
Davis set the club record last night with his 197th and 198th strikeouts, topping Mark Reynolds’ 196 in 2011. Davis has 15 more doubles, 15 more homers, 51 more RBIs and 18 more runs scored than Reynolds in 2011.
The Orioles won last night despite two Blue Jays - Munenori Kawasaki and Josh Thole - recording four-hit games. It was just the fifth win in club history when the opponent had two players record four hits or more. It also happened May 14, 1983, Aug. 4, 1975, April 26, 1974 and July 3, 1973.
Former Orioles pitcher Scott Erickson is signing autographs at Camden Yards this afternoon. I’m wondering whether I should get my photo taken with him.