“He’s fine,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s just been playing a lot. Get some different looks, moving people around. You’ll see some more of that before the year’s over, especially when we do the September call-ups.
“These are precious looks to kind of have an idea of what we have and what we don’t have going into the offseason. But I think Tim, like a lot of our guys, try to give him a day here or there when I can.”
Villar has made 259 career starts at shortstop and 170 at second base. Today marks only his second start at short with the Orioles.
The Orioles will have to decide where Villar fits in their infield in 2019.
“Maybe I give other teams too much credit,” Showalter said. “There are a lot of smart people in the game, so when you see how many games he’s played at shortstop and how many games he’s played at third base and second base ...
“I’m big about looking at the player’s history, because some good baseball people have looked at those things. I understand that Houston and (Milwaukee), who they had playing shortstop, kind of say, ‘OK, if not him, then who?’ There were some pretty good players there, so keep that in mind, too.
“You want to see if the history matches up to what your eyes tell you.”
Adam Jones still is expected to join the team in Toronto for Monday night’s series opener against the Blue Jays. The Orioles will remove him from the bereavement list and make a corresponding roster move.
“I talked with him a little bit yesterday,” Showalter said. “He’s flying to Toronto tonight. That’s what he said, unless something comes up.”
Showalter met with David Hess, as he does all of his starters, after Friday night’s outing and was pleased with the feedback. Hess got it. He noted the good and bad over his six innings.
“Really wanting them to be good self-evaluators,” Showalter said. “David was great today. He saw the game.”
“I’ll tell you, Austin has been impressive with him the last couple of times,” Showalter said. “Of course, Austin and I were talking in the dugout right after the game, and he said it’s easy to kind of look smart when you’ve got those three pitches working. You can put down about any finger you want.”
The game is slowing down for Wynns, which speeds up the development of a younger player.
“The margin of error up here and the power around every corner, the damage that’s there ...” Showalter said. “It’s a lot like pitchers putting them too high on a pedestal and just kind of letting the game slow down a bit and knowing that certain things play up here if you’re just consistent with it.
“You saw the tempo that he and Alex have had the last two outings. And Caleb (Joseph) has, too, with Alex when he was good. That’s been fun to watch the game kind of slow down for him.”
Showalter appreciates that Wynns is bothered by a failed start as much as or more than the pitcher, and how the rookie was thrilled yesterday by Cobb’s complete game. What Wynns does at the plate is secondary.
“Without a doubt,” Showalter said. “That’s the mentality that catchers have to have, and something that John (Russell) and I know our catching instructors stress.
“You’ve heard me say it before. You may put down 100 fingers and you’ve got four at-bats. What do you think is more impactful? It’s not even close.
“He gave Alex such confidence with throwing the split at any time, as far as blocking it. You could tell they were on the same page.”
Update: Yefry Ramírez threw 26 pitches in the first inning, but he allowed only one run on Yandy Diaz’s two-out RBI double. Ramirez hit a batter, walked one and threw a wild pitch.
Update II: Ramírez surrendered another two-out run in the second on Greg Allen’s RBI single and is up to 44 pitches.
Update III: Melky Cabrera hit a grand slam off Sean Gilmartin to cap a six-run fourth inning and give the Indians an 8-0 lead. Ramirez was charged with seven runs.