Orioles manager Buck Showalter confirmed today that left-hander Wei-Yin Chen will start Friday afternoon in Game 2 of the American League Division Series at Camden Yards.
Chen has allowed six earned runs in 11 innings over two career starts against the Tigers.
“It was tough,” Showalter said while meeting with beat reporters before his standard media session. “It was tough conversations, but some of the precedent, some of the things we’ve done with the starters and everything... They understand it and made a point in the advance meeting we had yesterday and the get-together we had, making sure everyone understood why. If we’re fortunate enough to advance, they will be very much in the mix for the next round. It’s just who we’re playing more than anything.”
Catchers Steve Clevenger and Matt Wieters also will stay with the team throughout the series. Manny Machado, Quintin Berry, Alexi Casilla, Ryan Webb, Evan Meek and Christian Walker will head to Sarasota this weekend. Joe Saunders returned to his Virginia home.
Berry is 30-for-30 stealing bases in his major league career, but he didn’t make the cut.
“That was a tough one, but their starters’ ability to hold runners, their relief pitchers do a nice job of holding runners,” Showalter said. “(Alex) Avila’s one of the better throwers. We also think David Lough and Jimmy Paredes have quality foot speed. Kelly (Johnson) doesn’t clog the bases. We feel like we’re OK there. That was a tough one, though, because he’s obviously been a contributor with that.
“Sometimes, that’s something that can be negated in the playoffs if they want to, by times to the plate, holding runners. That can be negated. But that was long. The bullpen and last couple extra guys...
“We came close with Casi but just don’t think it’s fair to him at this point. If he played more and was healthy, we would have considered it more - if he had more games under his belt. But next round it could be because now they go down and instructional league games go all the way through Tuesday. He’ll play in some games.”
Ubaldo Jimenez will work out of the bullpen despite having only four career relief appearances, including three this season.
“Why does he not have much experience in the bullpen? (Because) he’s been a good starter and he’s had good stuff over his career,” Showalter said.
Jimenez threw a scoreless inning Sunday in Toronto, striking out the side.
“His last three outings have been good,” Showalter said. “If you look at his numbers against Detroit, it’s a good what-if. Dave (Wallace) and I intentionally brought him in against (Jose) Reyes, (Jose) Bautista and (Edwin) Encarnacion.
“We’ve obviously got (Bud) Norris and (Miguel) Gonzalez in the ‘pen if needed tonight. We’re going to try not to, but that’ll happen if needed. As you saw in the Kansas City game, you better be prepared for what-if.
“He’s presented himself well. I told the players, this is a different dynamic. (Darren) O’Day could pitch in the third inning or (Tommy) Hunter. It is what it is, so you want to be sure you can cover it the whole way.”
Showalter won’t describe Jimenez as a long reliever. Unlike the regular season, Showalter will use any reliever in any situation.
“We don’t have a long man in this series,” he said. “We’re going to try to win that inning and see what the next inning brings.”