Showalter on Opening Day candidates
With just over three weeks until the Orioles’ break camp, manager Buck Showalter said the team’s Opening Day starter is not a topic of conversation within the organization “at all” as Baltimore tries to sift through a large volume of arms in camp.
“Because we haven’t [announced it] it kind of tells you why,” Showalter said of his club, which has depth but lacks any frontline, established starters. “We’ve got a number of candidates that are going [to be in the mix] to pitch the first game of the season. We don’t look it as the Opening Day, No. 1. We look at it as, ‘Ok, here’s the guy who’s going to pitch first.’”
The offseason trade of Jeremy Guthrie –who was the O’s Opening Day starter three of the last four seasons – and the struggles of the organization’s young arms leaves a wide-open race for who will take the hill in Baltimore on April 6. Showalter said he has “two or three” names in his head, with one being a wild card, and it’s fair to speculate that Jake Arrieta –who started last year’s home opener – is in the mix along with Tommy Hunter and Jason Hammel.
“I don’t spend much time on it,” Showalter said. “I don’t have to yet. Let them pitch. It’s about things other than pitching too. There’s a reason why we started Jake in our home opener last year. We wanted to get him as much time as possible [this spring in coming off elbow surgery], we wanted to pitch him fifth. There’s some other issues to take into consideration.”