NEW YORK - There wasn’t much news to report following manager Buck Showalter’s pregame media session in the visiting dugout.
Showalter said he’s expected his entire coaching staff to return in 2016, though that’s always subject to change.
It’s known that the contracts for pitching coach Dave Wallace, bullpen coach Dom Chiti and first base coach Wayne Kirby expire after this season.
“They might be sick of me,” Showalter quipped. “I don’t anticipate any changes.”
The staff has undergone changes every season under Showalter, though this includes former pitching coach Mark Connor leaving for health reasons in June 2011. His replacement, Rick Adair, took a leave of absence in August 2013 and no longer is in the organization.
Third base coaches Willie Randolph and DeMarlo Hale, bullpen coach Bill Castro and hitting coach Jim Presley also have departed.
Showalter said he debated whether to include Adam Jones in tonight’s lineup or rest him through Thursday’s off-day.
“I talked to him last night in the dugout,” Showalter said. “The challenge today is, OK, if we give him another day, he ends up with three in a row and we might be able to have him as close to being right as he can be the rest of the way. So that really kind of won out a little bit today. And some of the conversations I’ve had over the course of the day about how he’s feeling.
“I know what Adam is going to say. I feel confident he’ll be a player Friday. Tonight if I have to use him.”
Triple-A Norfolk and Double-A Bowie start their respective playoff series tonight. Is this accomplishment a big deal?
“Oh, are you kidding? Sure it is,” Showalter said.
“They had to pick a roster like we had to last year. That’s pretty cool. That’s a little different juice there. See the end of the season, get something out of it. Make the organization buy rings. Thinking about designs.
“I remember every one of our minor league championships like it was yesterday. It’s all relevant. Whether it’s state championships, Little League, it’s all relevant. To be the best of the best in a league when everybody’s playing the same games and competiting for the same thing and had the opportunity to sign the same players. Everybody’s on an equal playing field. It’s actually more equal there because they do play a similiar schedule down there.”
Bowie first baseman Trey Mancini, 23 will be an easy choice as the organization’s minor league Player of the Year. He’s batting a combined .341/.375/.563 with 43 doubles, six triples, 21 home runs, 89 RBIs, 31 walks and 93 strikeouts in 136 games at Bowie and Single-A Frederick.
“I’ve seen him some this year, snuck in there. Good-looking player,” Showalter said.
“I don’t know what else you could ask a guy to do. What’s he got, 40-something doubles? The strikeouts are really impressive, too. The games I’ve seen, and I’ve watched a lot of tape, too, he hits the ball the other way. I like that. Made some improvements at first base. Walk totals are good enough. I like the doubles. He’s a good-looking player.
“We have two good first basemen now with him and Christian (Walker). They’re both having good years at Double-A and Triple-A.”
Showalter asked reporters where Walker and Mancini should be assigned next season. I asked whether the decision hinges on a possible vacancy at first base at the major league level.
“Well, they’re not having as good a year as our first baseman,” Showalter said, drawing laughter. “That’s how I’ll answer that one.”
Walker could be included on the Orioles’ expanded roster after Norfolk is done. Mancini isn’t on the 40-man roster and doesn’t have to be protected in the Rule 5 draft this winter.
“I don’t know about all that stuff with the roster with Trey,” Showalter said.
“I think he may be having as good an overall year as anybody in the minor leagues. I’m not talking about just us, either. I don’t know what else he’s got to do to think highly of him.”
Update: Chris Davis singled with two outs in the top of the first inning to score Nolan Reimold, who walked, and give the Orioles a 1-0 lead. Davis has 103 RBIs this season and 51 over 51 games in the second half.
CC Sabathia threw 20 pitches in the inning.
Carlos Beltran homered to left field with two outs in the bottom of the first to tie the game. He hit a towering fly ball that kept carrying.
Update II: Beltran lined a two-run single into center field with two outs in the third to give New York a 3-1 lead.
Jimenez hit Didi Gregorius and gave up a single to No. 9 hitter Stephen Drew to open the inning. He’s thrown 53 pitches in three innings.
Update III: A fielding error by Drew with two outs in the fifth allowed two runs to score, tying the game 3-3.
Adam Warren replaced Sabathia and induced a ground ball to third by Schoop. Drew couldn’t catch Chase Headley’s low throw.
Update IV: Steve Pearce homered off Warren with one out in the eighth inning, his 10th of the season, to give the Orioles a 4-3 lead.
Jimenez retired 13 of the last 14 batters. He allowed three runs and four hits in seven innings, with no walks, eight strikeouts, a home run and a hit batter. He threw 92 pitches, 64 strikes.
Update V: The Orioles scored an insurance run in the ninth and beat the Yankees 5-3 for their first series win since sweeping the Athletics on Aug. 14-17. They’re now five games below .500 and 11-17 in two-run games.
Davis had a run-scoring double in the ninth, giving him 104 RBIs on the season. He reached base five times.
Jimenez improved to 11-9 with a 4.22 ERA. Zach Britton recorded his 32nd save.
Orioles pitchers retired 19 of the last 20 batters.