Orioles prepare for start of postseason Thursday against Tigers

O's still have some concern about third base

September 29, 2014|By Eduardo A. Encina | The Baltimore Sun

TORONTO – The Orioles arrived home from Canada on Sunday night and will get a day off before having workouts Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter will try to hold Wednesday’s workout around the same time as Game 1 to get his players on the same clock. They’re likely to be the early game with the other ALDS game being played on the West Coast, but if the Orioles play at 8 p.m. Thursday, the workout likely would be around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The next few days will give the Orioles an opportunity to take a mental break. They finished the regular season with 17 games in 17 days (including a doubleheader against the New York Yankees on Sept 12 and a day off Sept. 18).

“Thursday will be here, but it ain't Thursday yet,” Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said after Sunday’s game. “We'll make sure we don't think about Thursday until Thursday. It's going to be fun. Camden is going to be sold out, obviously. It’s going to be rocking in Baltimore.

“Let's get a couple of days off, get our heads together, focus on some other things, clear up some other things with the team. Make sure, first off, that we're healthy and the body is feeling good, and that our heads are in the right place because on Thursday, it's go time.”

The Orioles haven’t played the Tigers since May, when they were swept by Detroit on May 12-14. They were outscored, 15-7, in the series and were held to just one run in two of the three games. The Orioles also dropped two of three in Detroit in their first road series of the season in April.

There still has to be some concern about the team’s situation at third base. Orioles third basemen have committed seven errors in the last 10 games. Showalter said he wanted to get his regulars on the field together Sunday, so if that’s any indication of who is going to start, Ryan Flaherty was there Sunday.

Showalter probably has more trust in Flaherty than the other candidates. He’s a solid defender, but he has committed three of the third basemen's seven errors in the past seven games.

Jimmy Paredes has made three errors in 12 starts at third base, nearly playing his way off the postseason roster, especially when the team called in Alexi Casilla to get a quick look. Kelly Johnson is a solid defensive player, but he has been here less than a month.

One note on the end of the regular season: Nelson Cruz finished with 40 home runs, the most in the major leagues, giving the Orioles the home run champion in back-to-back seasons, a feat that only has been accomplished three other times previously.

Last season, Chris Davis led the majors with a club-record 53 homers.

The three previous times players from the same team won a home run title in consecutive years were the 1936-37 New York Yankees (Lou Gehrig's 49 and Joe DiMaggio's 46), the 1987-88 Oakland Athletics (Mark McGwire's 49 and Jose Canseco's 42) and the 1993-94 San Francisco Giants (Barry Bonds' 46 and Matt Williams' 43).

eencina@baltsun.com
twitter.com/EddieInTheYard

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