Morning musings

Orioles manager Buck Showalter grabbed a late flight to Dallas following Friday night's game, attended his son Nathan's graduation from Texas Christian University yesterday afternoon and flew back into Baltimore for last night's 10-inning win over the Astros.

For a brief moment, Showalter forgot that he'd have to sleep fast, to borrow one of his favorite expressions. The Orioles are playing a day game.

Oh well. Sleep's overrated anyway.

Steve Clevenger probably won't catch after working all 10 innings last night and getting dessert with his walk-off double.

If that's the case, Caleb Joseph will make his third major league start and his first against a right-handed starter, Houston's Jarred Cosart.

The Orioles continue to check on available backup catchers, just as they did over the winter and during spring training. Reports yesterday suggested that they've become more "aggressive," though I'm not sure how aggressively teams pursue backup catchers. They're always out there.

Judging by the comments of bench coach John Russell, it could be a week or more before Matt Wieters is ready to play catch and test his right elbow. Or it could be a few days. Honestly, it's so hard to narrow down, but the Orioles aren't going to rush him.

davis-wink-sidebar.pngClevenger is fine as a backup, but they may want Joseph to continue working on his craft at Triple-A Norfolk. He's had a lot thrown at him, so to speak, since the Orioles purchased his contract and it's been overwhelming at times. But he's made tremendous strides, considering that it wasn't so long ago that the Orioles declined to give him an invitation to spring training.

Will the Orioles activate Chris Davis today? I'm sure he's going to push for it and he apparently felt fine after last night's game at Double-A Bowie, where he singled and scored a run in four at-bats. He also struck out twice, but it didn't matter as long as he wasn't grimacing.

Again, a tough decision looms regarding a roster spot for Davis. Should we read anything into Delmon Young pinch-hitting for David Lough against a right-hander in the ninth inning? Should we be reading tea leaves instead?

Upon further review, Lough is out of options and would have to be designated for assignment. I knew it in spring training, since I included his name on my list.

It would be a shocking development after Lough was deemed the starter in left field after the Orioles traded for him.

I have no idea how the situation is going to resolve itself, but at least I've got a good seat for it.

Since May 2, 2013, the Orioles have gone 7-1-1 in series versus the American League West. They're going for the sweep today against the Astros.

Chris Tillman has faced the Astros once, allowing one run and four hits over seven innings last season, with two walks and eight strikeouts.

Nick Markakis will try to extend his hitting streak to 18 games. He's 25-for-70 (.357) in that span.


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