The Orioles are working out at Camden Yards this afternoon before opening the Division Series on Thursday against the Tigers.
Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson spoke to the team before they headed out to the field. Manager Buck Showalter was late to his media session, but as he said, “I couldn’t shorten Brooks up.”
“I didn’t want to miss that,” Showalter added. “That’s pretty good there. Wish he could have kept going. He may come back. That was pretty cool.”
Showalter still hasn’t announced his rotation or roster for the Division Series. The club most likely will send out a news release with the roster information on Thursday morning, and Showalter said he’ll pass along the rest of the rotation following Game 1.
“Players know what’s going on, but we’ll see how some things go out of our bullpen in Game 1. But guys all know what we’re probably going to do,” Showalter said.
“I’m going to let Brad (Ausmus) know what’s going on. There’s no cloak and dagger. There’s just a couple things we’re waiting on, especially before 10 o’clock tomorrow morning.”
Showalter said he’s debating whether to carry 10 or 11 pitchers. I get the sense that he’s going with 10, but that’s not official.
“We’ve kicked it around until we’re blue in the face, just like everybody does,” Showalter said. “There’s no perfect... If you knew exactly what was going to be needed for each game, it would be real easy to do, but the game has a way of exposing your needs. I think each club that you might play, if you’re fortunate enough to continue, things change with seven and five and one.”
Kevin Gausman said he’s been told to stay ready for Game 1, which means a bullpen role.
“I’m definitely not starting Game 1 or Game 2 or Game 3 or probably Game 4,” he said, grinning. “I’m cool with it. Like I said from Day One, I’ll do whatever they need. I’ve been out there and I think last year will definitely help me.”
Gausman is no stranger to the bullpen. He’s just being reminded what it requires of him.
“Just knowing how quick it takes you to be ready,” he said. “I always felt like it took me a long time to get warm, but I learned coming out of the ‘pen last year that that wasn’t really the case. I usually needed about 10 throws and I was good.”
Manny Machado is here and will stay with the team until flying to Sarasota on Saturday to continue rehabbing his right knee.
“I feel good. I feel real good. Excited to be back,” Machado said.
“I’m doing everything. Activating the muscles and trying to get my quads back. I’m basically full-go, couple weeks hopefully. I have full range of motion already, and hopefully in a couple weeks I’ll start riding the bike and get that going.”
Machado may start jogging in the pool next week at the Ed Smith Stadium complex. He’d rather be running the bases at Camden Yards and starting every game of the Division Series, but he’s happy to be reunited with his teammates for a few days.
“I’m excited to be here,” he said. “I’m as much a part of this team as anyone in here. We’re all taking this moment in. Just helping anybody if they need any help in anything and enjoying the moment like everyone is here.”
Doctors advised Machado to avoid the trip to Detroit and keep rehabbing the knee.
“That’s the main concern here,” he said. “I’m just going to be a cheerleader here with the team and helping them in a way, but at the same time I’ve got to get my work done and people here have got to be focused.”
If the Orioles make the World Series?
“I’ll be back for sure,” he said.
Machado monitored the team from Los Angeles and how it had to replace him first and Chris Davis later in the season.
“I think this is something we’ve dealt with in the past and I think that’s why this makes us a special team, because we deal with adversity,” Machado said. “If somebody’s down or somebody’s not doing well, somebody else is going to pick somebody up. We all back up each other and I think that’s what they’re doing here. Everybody’s helping out and I think that’s why we’re here.”
Machado said he expects to be full-go in spring training.
“So far, so good,” he said. “It’s been going good and that’s the goal. I haven’t had a full spring training in a while, so I’m excited for it. Still got to look forward to my rehab first.”