Orioles manager Buck Showalter congratulates closer Koji… (J. Meric, Getty Images )
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Orioles manager Buck Showalter
will meet with his coaches before the season ends Sunday, but he said any definitive decisions on his 2011 staff likely won't be made until after the World Series.
"I want to talk to them before the season is over to give them a heads-up about what our thinking is, what the time frame's going to be," said Showalter, who inherited the staffs of former managers Dave Trembley and Juan Samuel. "I wouldn't dare let them leave here without some idea. There hasn't been any concrete decision there. The focus has been on the players, finishing out this year. We haven't talked about that yet. I haven't talked about that yet with them. They know what's going on for the most part."
While Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail said he "retains the right to veto," Showalter has been given the authority to assemble his own staff. That has led to plenty of speculation he'll surround himself with several of his coaches from his previous managerial stops with the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees.
Some of the names that have been mentioned are Rangers bench coach Don Wakamatsu, a former Seattle Mariners manager; former Rangers pitching coach and current special assistant of player development Mark Connor; and Toronto Blue Jays third base and infield coach Brian Butterfield.
However, Showalter said it wouldn't be fair to penalize the current coaches because they don't have a previous relationship with him, and all are under consideration to return next season.
"These are good baseball people," Showalter said. "You take all things into consideration. Hopefully, in the next month, we will have a pretty clear idea of what we're working with and see what the fit would be with the needs of our players. But I can certainly see why they were hired and why they were thought well of. I think, with one exception, they've all been on a big league staff, so you can see why their work has been coveted."
Hitting coach Terry Crowley is in his 16th season as an Orioles coach, and this is the 12th year of his second stint with the club. Pitching coach Rick Kranitz, first base coach John Shelby and bullpen coach Alan Dunn are in their third full seasons with the club. This is Jeff Datz's first season as Orioles bench coach, while third base coach Gary Allenson joined the staff in June when Trembley was fired, though he had served as Triple-A Norfolk's manager for the previous three seasons.
No surgery for Arrieta
Orioles rookie pitcher Jake Arrieta finally heard back from orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum, and he got the answer he was hoping to hear. After looking at a magnetic resonance imaging taken on Arrieta's right elbow, Yocum said he didn't feel that it was necessary for the pitcher to have surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow.
"They said with the way it has been acting — it hasn't bothered me — there's no reason to do anything if you are able to throw effectively," said Arrieta, who went 6-6 with a 4.66 ERA in 18 starts with the club before he was shut down. "He said that he's seen it many times and it's one of those things that unless it's causing you a lot of pain or giving you any trouble, there's no reason to [mess] with it. That's what I thought and that's what he came up with. I think this is the best thing to do."
Roberts sidelined again
Orioles second baseman and leadoff hitter Brian Roberts missed a second consecutive game Wednesday as he continues to struggle with headaches. Showalter said Roberts will undergo testing Thursday in Baltimore to try to determine the cause.
"They talked about taking some tests and eliminating some things and making sure what we're dealing it," Showalter said. "He's day-to-day. Hopefully, he'll be ready to go. I know we've got some weather issues [Thursday]. It might be able to buy another day if it's still an issue."
Simon's suspension reduced
Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon began serving his suspension for his Sunday plunking of Toronto Blue Jays' slugger Jose Bautista tonight after the league reduced his ban from three games to two.
Simon, who was ejected from the game in the fifth after he hit Bautista when both the Blue Jays' and Orioles' benches had already been warned, will be eligible to pitch again in the second game of the Detroit Tigers series, scheduled for Friday.
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