Major League Baseball will reveal the All-Star teams in the American and National League at 7 p.m. Sunday, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter already has made his recommendations from within his clubhouse.
Showalter challenged the media to pick the deserving Orioles. He wasn’t willing to publicly share his choices, but he indicated that he came up with at least four.
“You try to do the right thing by everybody,” Showalter said.
“Other than an outing or so, you could make a strong case for Brad (Brach), too. A strong case for a lot of people. I always try to look at the difficulty of the job that they’re doing, whether it be a second baseman or a closer, instead of just looking at things statistically.”
Rookie Trey Mancini apparently made the list, too, though Showalter was reluctant to show his hand. Mancini is batting .318/.364/.573 with 12 doubles, a triple, 14 home runs and 43 RBIs in 64 games. He’s hitting .350/.401/.642 with 10 of his home runs against right-handers, the highest average in the American League.
Mancini doesn’t have enough plate appearances to qualify among the league leaders, but Showalter is confident that the rookie’s stats are evident to anyone in a position to choose the AL team.
“He’s one of the guys they’re considering, I’m sure” Showalter said. “There’s a certain process with young players, too. He’ll get the at-bats at some point. Yeah, they’re aware of that stuff.
“I know a lot more than ... I know who they’re considering and they got my input on it. I think Dan (Duquette) gave his. I gave them my thoughts and said these are the four guys I’d take. Which means they’ll take probably one. I don’t know. We’ll see.
“A lot of things can happen between now and then, especially if they keep these walls unpadded.”
Asked again about Mancini, Showalter said, “You can read between the lines.”
“He’s having a good year,” Showalter added. “Of course, he should be considered. I would if I was manager of the All-Star selections. That’s not a revelation. Of course he’s on the board. I probably painted myself in a corner, haven’t I?”
The Orioles won’t have anyone voted into the game. If they’re left with only one representative, it will be their lowest total since 2011, with catcher Matt Wieters.
A total of 17 players are representing the Orioles among the four full-season affiliate All-Star teams and the All-Star Futures Game.
This is another nod toward the player-development department. Or 17 feathers in its cap.
Double-A Bowie left-hander Tanner Scott was chosen to the Futures Game along with Triple-A Norfolk catcher Chance Sisco. Scott is being used in three-inning starts while the organization decides whether he’s more suited for the rotation or bullpen.
Could Scott make his major league debut later this summer?
“I don’t think he needs to be hearing the manager talk about that,” Showalter said. “He’s doing very well the last five or six outings on the plan they have him on, and hope he continues down that path and he’s able to impact our club at some point in his career. He’s got a good arm. I like how the slider is coming.
“I think people are so quick to take guys like him and stick them in the bullpen. It’s just like a guy, make them play their way off shortstop, make them play their way off center field, make them play their way off the premium position if they can bring some bat. And I’d make him play his way off starter. That’s why we went so far down the line with Zach.
“There’s been great patience. I think it’s exemplary player development this year with him. And the same thing is going on with (Jesus) Liranzo right now. Baseball is so quick to stick these guys in the ‘pen. Somebody’s got to start.”
Update: Wilson Ramos hit a two-run homer to center field in the second inning, his first with the Rays, to give Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead.
Update II: The Orioles scored an unearned run in the third to cut the lead to 2-1. Castillo reached on shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria’s error and scored on Joey Rickard’s double, the only hit for the Orioles off Rays rookie Jacob Faria.
Update III: Rickard led off the bottom of the sixth with a home run to tie the game 2-2. He has both hits for the Orioles and has driven in both runs.
Update V: The Rays tied the game with two outs in the ninth on a walk, balk, wild pitch and Hechavarria’s fourth hit. Brad Brach had his fourth blown save and first since May 16 in Detroit.